With every new bear sighting this summer the state Department of Environmental Conservation is continuing to remind people how to behave when a bear might be in their area and how to prevent it from coming back.
The latest bear sighting was in eastern Glenville Tuesday, where the town sent out an email blast and posted a message on its website to community members.
Supervisors Chris Koetzle said a bear has been spotted in several neighborhoods throughout town over the last week.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation indicated it was one adolescent bear, he said.
“It feels like there’s more than one though,” Koetzle said, due to the number of sightings.
However, a DEC spokesperson said it’s likely the same bear that has been roaming about Schenectady County over the last several weeks.
“Bears in general, especially yearlings, have large home ranges and can travel several miles a day looking for food,” the spokesperson said. “The bear population for Schenectady County, in general, is still fairly low compared to other areas in the region.”
Breonna Holton said she had seen one Monday in Ballston Lake not far from her home.
“We’ve lived here like 10 or 11 years and have never seen a bear,” she said.
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On July 12 a bear was spotted roaming around Niskayuna. Before that, one was seen in Schenectady in June and another in Amsterdam in May.
“It’s not often it happens,” said Pat Irwin, a Schenectady City Public Information Officer.
In the eight years Irwin has been with the department he only recalled three bear-sighting incidents.
Of those incidents, he remembered having to call the DEC to tranquilize the bear because it was roaming around the busy Stockade neighborhood.
The DEC said during this time of year younger bears leave their families to forage for food and breeding bears will search for mates.
“With this increased activity comes a greater potential for human-bear conflicts, when bears find food near people,” the DEC said.
To prevent attracting bears to a community the DEC recommends:
- Secure garbage indoors or a locked outbuilding until the morning of pickup;
- Remove bird feeders;
- Clean grease from grills; and
- Secure livestock food and don’t feed pets outdoors.
Koetzle said the bear in Glenville has been going after a lot of bird feeders. Holton said she watched the bear go after a bird feeder in the yard of a home.
“This particular bear has found plenty of food in these areas of travel and hence the reason for the numerous sightings,” the DEC said.
The DEC said if you spot a bear in public to stay away from it “as the less attention a bear receives the more likely it is to safely make its way out of the area and back to its natural habitat.”
For more information on avoiding human-bear conflicts, people should visit: https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6995.html.