IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Idaho wildlife officials say bears have been more active in human areas this year than in the past, and warn that residents should avoid providing food to the animals and encouraging them.

The Post Register reports that Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials say there are between 750 and 1,150 grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and that there are at least 20,000 black bears in the state.

U.S. Forest Service wildlife biologist Sabrina Derussea says it appears bears are having more contact with humans this year, which could be blamed on a poor berry crop which is forcing bears into more populated area for food.

Bears have been spotted stealing potatoes, pulling down apple trees, killing livestock and generally showing up in human-populated areas.

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