YORKTOWN, N.Y. - An adolescent black bear has been sighted several times in Yorktown since Saturday, according to the Yorktown Police Department.
On Vista Court, the bear was chased up a tree by a dog, said Lt. James Graham. He said the bear was in the tree for only a few minutes before he climbed down and ran away.
“We think it’s all the same bear,” Graham said. “He appears to be an adolescent. He’s not a full-grown adult. He’s probably looking for a home.”
The department has been in contact with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which will not act so long as the bear shows no aggression, Graham said.
The DEC offers the following tips on properly handling a black bear encounter:
If You 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.
Use Noise to Scare Away Bears from Your Campsite
- Yell, clap, or bang pots immediately upon sighting a bear near your campsite.
Do Not Throw Your Backpack or Food Bag at an Approaching Bear
- Doing so will only encourage bears to approach and “bully” people to get food.
- By teaching a bear to approach humans for food, you are endangering yourself, other campers/residents, and the bears.
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:
- Raise your arms and speak in a loud, calm voice while backing away.
- Stand your ground.
- If you have bear spray, dispense directly at the bear. Please follow the link leaving the DEC's website to learn about the proper use of bear spray.
- Stay together.
- Do not run, but continue to back away while speaking loudly.
If the bear continues to follow you:
- Stand your ground.
- Intimidate by making yourself look bigger by waving arms, clapping, shouting, banging sticks.
- Prepare to fight or use bear spray.
If the bear makes contact with you:
- Fight back with anything at hand (knife, stick, rocks, fists).