With the weather warming up, black bears continue making the rounds in the area, with the .latest sighting coming in Northern Westchester.
The North Castle Police Department issued a warning after a bear was spotted between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Monday, July 1 in the Long Pond area of town. There were no further sightings after 11 a.m.
Police say that area residents should not approach or feed bears.
“If you’re aware of a bear in your area, try to remove things they may hone in on such as bird feeders and garbage pails,” they noted. “Keep pets inside while the bear is in sight.”
The sighting is just the latest in the Hudson Valley in recent weeks. A bear on the prowl in Ossining forced police to increase patrols near an elementary school, while another has been making the rounds in Clarkstown. One bear was caught on camera in Dutchess County playing with a bird feeder in a Beekman backyard.
One bear was tranquilized in a tree and taken into custody and another has been busy in North Salem and Purdys, hanging out near an elementary school and an area golf course. In Pine Plains, an area resident caught a mother bear and cub on camera going through the trash in their backyard.
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.”
In the event of a bear sighting, wildlife 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.
"If a bear is seen in your town or neighborhood, leave it alone. In most situations, if left alone and given an avenue for escape, the bear will usually wander back into more secluded areas," according to officials. "Keep dogs under control.
"Stay away from the bear and advise others to do the same. Do not approach the bear so as to take a photo or video. Often a bear will climb a tree to avoid people. A crowd of bystanders will only stress the bear and also add the risk that the bear will be chased into traffic or the crowd of people."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.