OSWEGO COUNTY – County Legislature Chairman Kevin Gardner is warning people in Oswego County that a black bear has been spotted roaming on the west side of Oswego and outlying areas over the past few days. A bear was seen crossing Ellen Street in Oswego on Tuesday (July 5), and recent bear sightings have been reported in the Town of Oswego, near Hannibal, and at Fair Haven State Park.
“Most black bears prefer to avoid humans. People should stay away from the bear, not approach it, and not offer it food,” Gardner said. “Anyone who is having a problem with a nuisance bear is asked report it immediately to the DEC statewide dispatch at 518- 897-1326.”
The State Department of Environmental Conservation reports that with the onset of warmer weather, bears have been seen in many communities across the state.
The DEC recommends that people take these steps if they encounter a bear:
– Never approach, surround, or corner a bear. Bears aggressively defend themselves when they feel threatened. Be especially cautious around cubs as mother bears are very protective.
– Never run from a bear. Stay calm, speak in a loud and calm voice, slowly back away and leave the area.
In your yard:
– From a safe distance, make loud noises by shouting or banging pots to scare the bear away.
– Once the bear leaves, remove all attractants such as bird seed, garbage, and pet food.
– Ask neighbors to remove attractants.
In a building:
– Give the bear a clear escape route.
– Leave any doors open as you back away from the bear.
– Do not lock the bear in a room.
If a bear becomes aggressive and approaches you:
– Raise your arms and speak in a loud, calm voice while backing away.
If a bear becomes aggressive and charges you:
– Stand your ground.
– If you have bear spray, dispense directly at the bear. Follow the product instructions for proper use of bear spray.
When reported immediately, nuisance bear issues can often be resolved by working with community members to increase public awareness and remove attractants.
When nuisance bears go unreported, they may quickly become a significant safety hazard for people and/or pets, and such scenarios often have undesirable outcomes for both people and bears.
If you or your neighbor are having problems with nuisance bears or suspect someone is feeding bears, please report immediately to the DEC statewide dispatch at 518- 897-1326.
For additional information on avoiding black bears visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/94710.html.