People in western Labrador have been spotting bears in a number of communities this month, but sightings are actually down in 2013.

"Basing on about the last 20 years or so, typically we average 20 bears," said conservation officer Chuck Porter. 

"Last year we had 25, this year there's been about 15. It changes every year, and this one seems to be a bit lower, which is probably a good thing." 

Conservation officer Chuck Porter

Conversation officer Chuck Porter. (CBC)

Porter says wildlife officers try to trap bears spotted in town, and then release them in remote areas.

However, he said, if bears interact with people before officers get there, the animals usually have to be put down.

"We want to make sure there's no human interaction with these animals, and we try to limit that as quickly as possible. If there is a potential case where that may happen, then we do have to put an animal down."

Porter added public safety is the top priority.

Officers tag bears they catch to document visits to town, putting down bears that won't stay away.

Bears still frequenting Gambo area

A business owner near Gambo, in northeastern Newfoundland, is completely frustrated with black bears.

Lionel Glover owns a tree nursery in Hare Bay. 

Glover said the damage done by the bears is jeopardizing the future of his business. 

"We have a lot of root stock in our garden that we take cuttings to produce other fruit trees ... the last three weeks, most of the trees have been destroyed," said Glover.

"Bears [are] climbing up the trees and breaking the branches, destroying the apples, and plums and pears."

Glover said wildlife officials set a trap a few weeks ago and captured one cub.

He's been asking them to come back to set more, but added that he's had no luck.