Police Increase Patrols Near School Following Bear Sighting In Northern Westchester

Police in Westchester are beefing up patrols at a nearby elementary school after a black bear was spotted making the rounds in the front yard of an area home.

Another bear sighting has been reported in Westchester. Photo Credit: Ossining Police Department

The Ossining Police Department released a video that was shot in the morning on Thursday, June 20 on Oakbrook Road. In the video, the small bear can be seen curiously walking across the front lawn of the property, looking around.

In response, the Ossining Police Department announced it would be adding some officers in the area around school dismissal “to make sure the kids and bear don’t mix,” adding, “everyone’s going home safe today.”

“Welp, it’s time for our annual bear announcement,” the department posted on Facebook. “Every year around this time one or two black bears mosey down here looking for snacks. Usually, they’re pretty timid around people and are just looking for food scraps. Keep your garbage cans secure and don’t leave other tasty treats outside.”

According to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, “though rarely seen by most New Yorkers, black bears are valued by hunters, photographers, and wildlife watchers.

“Many people enjoy just knowing that bears are present in New York. For many, black bears symbolize wilderness and wildness, but increasingly, bears can be found in semi-rural environments, agricultural areas, and occasionally in urban centers.”

Police in Ossining noted, “if you see the bear, just leave him be. If he behaves the way he has in years past, he’ll poke around, look for food, and then leave. Most important - don’t feed wild animals.”

In the event of a bear sighting, officials offered a series of tips in case of a close encounter:

  • Remain calm and avoid sudden movements;
  • Give the bear plenty of room, allowing it to continue its activities undisturbed. If it changes its behavior, you are too close, back away;
  • If you see a bear, but it doesn't see you, detour quickly and quietly;
  • If it sees you, talk in normal tones and wave your arms;
  • If a bear pursues you, do not run. Throw a personal item on the ground. He may be distracted by this and allow you to slowly escape;
  • A standing bear is not always a sign of aggression. Many bears will stand to get a better view.

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