DEC asks for help in reducing 'nuisance bear incidents'

With the onset of warmer weather, black bears are on the move.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has been notified of nuisance bears in the Adirondack and northern New York, though two black bears were recently spotted in the Cortland area on two separate occasions.

The simplest way to avoid an encounter with a bear is to remove anything that would attract the animal—garbage, bird feeders, pet foods and grills would meet this criteria.

"When reported immediately, nuisance bear issues can often be resolved by working with community members to increase public awareness and remove attractants," the DEC said in a press release today. "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, report to the DEC dispatch at 518-897-1326.

Here are some other tips from the DEC:

  • Store garbage cans and grills in a secure building or location.
  • Secure lids on outdoor garbage containers with chains and locks and/or protect them with electric fencing.
  • Do not leave garbage containers outside over-night; put them out immediately prior to pick-up.
  • Remove bird feeders and suet.
  • Feed pets indoors and store pet food indoors.