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Dry spring means more bear sightings

Jun 16, 2016 12:02 am
The United States Drought Monitor site says most of New York is "abnormally dry" currently, which means more black bears will be looking for food farther from home, closer to people. The Watershed Post reports that from May 1 to May 23 the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation received 54 complaints about bears in the Catskills. "Bears can obtain all of the food they need from the forest, but they are intelligent and opportunistic animals that will find and consume whatever food they can find most easily,” the statement read. “Bird feeders, garbage cans, dumpsters, barbecue grills, unsecured out-buildings or vehicles containing food or waste are all potential attractants to bears," the Department of Environmental Conservation said in a press release this spring. "Once a bear learns to obtain food from people or certain structures, it is very difficult to change the animal's behavior. These bears are more vulnerable to motor vehicle collisions in populated areas, more likely to be illegally killed, or may become a threat to public safety." The DEC asks anyone with property damage from a bear to report the incident at 518-357-2450. Read the full story in The Watershed Post.