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COLONY – A bear was seen wandering in a backyard in the heart of the village on Wednesday, September 29 at around 1:50 a.m.

The black bear was captured by a surveillance camera at the residence on Avenue des Pins and stopped briefly when a light was activated by a motion detector before going out.

To see the video, click here.

Colony police are warning residents to follow state Department of Conservation guidelines to avoid having problems with bears, which are generally afraid of humans and try to avoid contact with them.

To avoid problems with bears around homes, DEC recommends storing and disposing of garbage and removing bird feeders when bears are active. The easiest way to avoid bear problems is to eliminate unnatural food sources.

In addition, the DEC guidelines include:

  • Never intentionally feed bears as this will attract them and is illegal.
  • Never burn garbage, it’s illegal and attracts bears, as does composting leftover food.
  • To store garbage in lidded bins or dumpsters, and keep it in a safe place, such as a garage or shed. Do not take out the garbage until the morning of pickup.
  • Feed birds only from December 1 to April 1; however, birdseed and tallow can attract bears at any time of the year. Remove feeders, seeds, and tallow whenever bears are a problem.
  • Clean the barbecue grates after each use; remove the can of fat and run the grill on “high” to burn off excess fat.
  • Store your grill in a safe place when not in use.
  • Feed the animals indoors.
  • Keep refrigerators and freezers in a safe place and bring coolers indoors when not in use.

If you need help with a nuisance bear, please contact your

York State Department of Environmental Conservation Wildlife Office.

Once a bear has become a problem, DEC staff are often asked to move it. Unfortunately, this rarely fixes the problem, according to the DEC. Displaced bears are known to travel up to 300 miles to return to where they were captured. Bears that do not return can continue their bad behavior at the new location.

The circumstances that led to the original problem must be corrected, or the human-bear conflict will persist.

If you see a bear, “don’t panic”.

“Enjoy the privilege of seeing a magnificent wild animal, but don’t lose sight of the fact that bears are powerful animals that will defend themselves if they feel threatened,” according to the DEC. “Never approach, surround or attempt to touch a bear. Always leave a clear escape route for a bear. If you feel threatened by a bear, back away slowly, but don’t run. If the bear doesn’t want to leave, make loud noises: shout, clap, honk the car or air horns, or bang on nearby objects.

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Edward L. Robinett

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