CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) — As you prepare for your holiday weekend cookouts this year, it’s also important to remember that some wildlife might enjoy your BBQ scraps. Black bear sightings are being reported by local residents with their encounters becoming more common in Massachusetts.

Wildlife experts at MassWildlife are reminding you to rid your grills of all fat and grease and put them away when you are done. Food odors attract unwanted animals, but they also attract bears. Be sure to secure your garbage cans after you clean up from your parties.

And remember, never approach a bear if it does invite itself to your party. It will most likely leave the area on its own.

Nick Aresco is an evening anchor who has been a part of the 22News team since 2018. Follow Nick on X @ArescoNick and view his bio to see more of his work.