Black bear spotted in Horseheads

Local

How to reduce human-bear conflicts

HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WETM) — The Horseheads community could “bear-ly” contain their excitement Thursday night.

A black bear was seen making its way around Horseheads before climbing up a tree on Grand Central Ave.

Officials from the Horseheads Police Department and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) had the street blocked off to traffic before helping the bear back to safety.

According to NYSDEC, black bears are well established across the Southern Tier—with approximately 6,000-8,000 black bears in open hunting areas throughout the state.

But what do you do when you come across a bear? NYSDEC says to remain calm and keep a couple of things in mind to prevent a human-bear conflict:

  • Don’t panic. Bears are more likely to be afraid of you than you are of them. Enjoy the privilege of seeing a magnificent wild animal, but don’t lose sight of the fact that bears are powerful animals that will defend themselves if they feel threatened.
  • Never approach, surround or attempt to touch a bear.
  • Always leave a clear escape route for a bear.
  • If you feel threatened by a bear, back away slowly, but do not run.
  • If the bear won’t leave, make loud noises. Yell, clap, blow car horns or air horns, or drum on nearby objects.
  • Never feed bears intentionally; it is illegal.
  • Burning garbage is illegal and attracts bears, as does composting food scraps.
  • Store garbage in lidded cans or dumpsters, and keep them in a secure place, such as a garage or shed. Put garbage out only on the morning of pickup.
  • Feed birds only from Dec. 1 until April 1. Birdseed and suet may attract bears at any time of the year. Remove feeders, seed and suet whenever bears are problematic.
  • Clean barbeque grills after every use. Remove the grease can, and run the grill on “high” to burn off excess grease.
  • Store your grill in a secure place when not in use.
  • Feed pets indoors.
  • Keep refrigerators and freezers in a secure place, and bring coolers inside when not in use.
  • Protect livestock and beehives with electric fencing.

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