Bears are getting friendly in the Adirondack High Peaks, and visitors are being warned not to feed them.
Black bears have been approaching hikers and campers in the area around Gill Brook, Indian Pass, Mount Colvin, Elk Pass and Nippletop “in an attempt to intimidate people into giving them food,” according to an emailed alert from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
The DEC recently captured and euthanized the most aggressive of the bears — a bear with one purple ear tag and one green ear tag, which was getting very close to numerous hikers and campers and not backing down, the state agency said.
Another bear with one red ear tag has been reported as problem, but has not behaved as aggressively and has been encountered less frequently, the DEC said.
Other bears have been stealing food from campers and rock climbers around Chapel Pond, including the Beer Walls climbing area, the DEC said.
The DEC said visitors to the Adirondack High Peaks should take the following precautions:
- Keep all food, toiletries and garbage in a bear resistant canister to avoid attracting black bears.
- Avoid cooking and eating after dark and prepare and eat food away from tent sites.
- If approached by a bear, do not give it food. Make noise and try to scare it away.
- Hikers and campers may also want to consider carrying bear spray as a precautionary measure for close encounters. Read the instructions carefully before using.
- Call the DEC Regional Wildlife Office at 897-1291 to report encounters with bears.
For more information on how to prevent human-bear conflicts, click here.