Department of Natural Resources officials are trying to catch a young black bear in Dieppe.

The animal has been spotted by several residents over the past week.

Leon Leblanc, a supervisor with DNR, says the bear is probably trying to eat the young grass that's coming up on people's lawns.

"This time of year, apparently when they come out and haven't eaten all winter, their diet is strictly grass because their stomach is not used to solid food yet," he told CBC News.

DNR officials have also spotted the bear and have already placed one live trap, said Leblanc. A second trap is expected to be put out on Thursday night, he said.

Area residents are urged not to approach or feed the bear if they see it, said Leblanc.

The best way to avoid bear problems is not to attract them in the first place, department officials have said.

Garbage or any other possible food source, such as pet food and bird feeders should be kept inside, or in a bear-proof container.

Food odours should also be kept to a minimum by washing garbage cans regularly using lime or baking soda, and keeping barbecue grills and picnic tables clean.

The overall black bear population in New Brunswick has jumped in the past decade to about 17,000, up from 13,000, officials have said.