SARANAC LAKE - A black bear sighting near the Petrova school caused a stir for students Wednesday morning.
Saranac Lake Police Chief Bruce Nason said the young bear was reported by a homeowner on Petrova Avenue, so he sent some officers over to help ensure the students got to school safely. A state environmental conservation officer also responded to offer assistance.
The report of the bear sighting came at about 8:35 a.m., and since the elementary school day starts at 8:45 a.m., there was a lot of pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic at the time.
"We come inside at 8:35 a.m., so it was a little chaos for the first 10 minutes of school," Petrova Elementary Principal Josh Dann said. "But our kids did great."
Dann said he heard the bear was in the woods near the playground.
"I don't think anyone on my staff saw the bear," he said. "I could be wrong about that, but everyone I talked to didn't see anything."
Dave Winchell, spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation in Ray Brook, said the environmental conservation officer patrolled the area in the morning and didn't see the bear.