Bear escapes from Adirondack Wildlife Refuge in Wilmington

Bears Ahote and Luvey play at the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge in 2018 in Wilmington. (Photo provided)

WILMINGTON — A black bear has escaped from the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge in Wilmington.

The bear, named Ahote, dug out of its enclosure on Thursday morning, according to the refuge. The refuge monitored the bear’s enclosure on Thursday night in case Ahote returned, and the refuge was closed on Friday as its staff combed the property and the surrounding area looking for the bear.

This is not the first time Ahote has escaped from the wildlife refuge. The last time was in 2019, when the bear escaped with another bear at the refuge, Luvey, and was missing for two weeks. Luvey was found by the refuge’s co-owner, Steve Hall, near Whiteface Mountain; Ahote was found near the Quaker Hill neighborhood less than a mile away from the refuge and was lured back to her enclosure by two refuge employees.

Ahote the bear is “completely harmless,” the refuge wrote on social media Thursday. “If you spot her, don’t approach her, rather call us at 855-WOLF-MAN or 914-772-5983.

“With such a lovely day and everyone outside, we’re concerned someone might panic and shoot Ahote, who tends to run from people,” the refuge said.

Ahote has black fur and a silver clip on her ear from the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Luvey the bear didn’t escape this time and remains in her enclosure at the refuge.

Ahote is an ambassador bear, meaning that she stays at the refuge full-time and is used to educate visitors on issues facing wildlife.


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