ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – A black bear was seen walking the streets and swimming the river of Elmira Thursday afternoon.

On Thursday, September 2, 2021, the Elmira Police Department and Elmira Animal Control were called to the area of Walnut Street and West 2nd Street for a report of a black bear in the area.  The bear eventually made its way to the Chemung River near the Walnut Street bridge, swam across to the Southside of Elmira and remained mainly in the area of West Hudson Street and West Chemung Place.

Animal control officers were unable to re-direct this bear out of the city due to several factors. One major contributing factor was the amount onlookers, both pedestrian and vehicular traffic, which acted as a hindrance in attempting to direct this bear out of the City of Elmira. 

The ongoing commotion and activity prevented the bear from a quick exit and it became exhausted and confused. 

The Elmira Police Department and Elmira Animal Control would like to remind the public that interacting with any wild animal carries potential risk of injury or death, especially with a large mammal.

The public is further asked not to approach, follow and/or harass wildlife that they may encounter within the City of Elmira.

The bear was last seen traveling south from the 500 block of West Chemung Place area and still may be in the area.