Concerns Over Bear Sightings Shared | News, Sports, Jobs – Jamestown Post Journal

Aug 6, 2022
A local resident is sharing his concerns about a large black bear that he said is frequenting his neighborhood.
Brian Anderson said he has spoken numerous times with local officials as well as the New York Department of Environmental Conservation regarding bear sightings near his home in the town of Busti.
“The other night, at 12:30 at night, I heard a noise and went to the door, and he was climbing up the porch stairs to get the humming bird feeders,” Anderson said of a large bear.
He said his main concern is the safety of his wife, who recently suffered a stroke and cannot walk. “We cannot take her on the porch because of the bear,” he said. “He comes right up onto the porch.”
The DEC told The Post-Journal that while bear sightings may be uncommon for many residents of New York, the bear population has been increasing in many parts of the region over the past decade. Estimates are that about 1,800 to 2,500 black bears live in the southern bear range, which includes the Catskills and parts of central and western New York.
“Black Bear populations, particularly in the southern bear range, have been increasing in number and expanding in distribution,” the DEC said in a statement.
While the state DEC acknowledged the growing black bear population and Anderson’s case, the agency provided guidance for how to reduce the risk of unwanted encounters. That includes addressing bird feeders that attract bears.
Anderson said watching birds provides relief for his wife as she recovers from her stroke. He said the reason he brought her home from the hospital was to give her a change in scenery to help her recover.
The only suggestion Anderson said he has received from law enforcement and state officials is to remove his bird feeders. He does not believe removing them will prevent the black bear in question from continuing to roam throughout the neighborhood.
“They’re not going to change their route just because I take my bird feeders in,” he said.
Anderson said he has had previous issues with black bears on his property, but his present situation is worse than usual. “Over the years, I’ve had a lot of them,” he said, “but this one is more persistent. He’s over 300 pounds and he will not leave.”
He also has fired warning shots and rubber bullets to scare the bear off, but has not been successful at deterring the bear. With what he believes is a growing number of black bears in the state, Anderson views the bear as a public nuisance.
While the bear has presented a safety problem for Anderson, he said he is not asking for the bear to be killed, but to be removed from the area.
“Trap the bear and put him some place where he’s not going to harm anybody,” he said.
The DEC explained that relocating a bear is rarely an effective solution since black bears can travel up to 100 miles. The agency also said that without addressing the issue of the bird feeders that are attracting the bear, it is quite possible that another bear would be attracted if the first bear was removed.
“It is important to properly manage attractants to avoid human-bear conflicts,” the DEC said. “Unintentional feeding through bird feeders and unsecured garbage also has consequences for communities and may ultimately be deadly for the bear if the bear becomes a greater threat to people and property after exposure to these sources of food.”
As Anderson continues to have conversations with law enforcement and wildlife authorities, his desire is for the DEC to respond to his concerns. Currently, he is asking authorities to help explain his situation to the DEC.
“All I want is the bear moved if possible, so my wife can go out on her porch,” he said.
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