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Police & Fire

Man Injured By Black Bear While Checking Noise Outside Home In Area

An upstate New York man was injured after encountering a black bear in his garbage can.
An upstate New York man was injured after encountering a black bear in his garbage can. Photo Credit: NY Department of Conservation

A New York man was injured by a black bear after going outside to see what was in his garbage can.

The attack happened around 11 p.m., Friday, June 4 in Sullivan County in the hamlet of Rock Hill.

The homeowner heard a noise near the trash containers, went outside, and was reportedly scratched by the bear, said officials with the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The man received mild injuries but was transported to the hospital for treatment, the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office said.

DEC is reminding residents to use caution when in the area of a black bear. They offered the following suggestions:

  • If a bear approaches you: Raise your arms and speak in a loud, calm voice while backing away.
  • If a bear charges you: Stand your ground. If you have bear spray, dispense directly at the bear.
  • If a bear follows you: Stand your ground. Intimidate by making yourself look bigger by waving arms, clapping, shouting, or banging sticks. Prepare to fight or use bear spray.
  • If a bear makes contact with you: Fight back with anything at hand (knife, stick, rocks, or fists).

The department also suggests removing all items from yards that would attract bears such as bird feeders, and using locking garbage cans.

For more information on what to do if you encounter a black bear click here. 

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