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DEC urges New Yorkers to help avoid bear conflicts

A bear cub is stuck in a tree in Lake Placid in 2014. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

ALBANY — State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos encouraged New Yorkers Friday to take a few simple precautions to avoid conflicts with bears.

“DEC is receiving reports of bears roaming neighborhoods in several parts of upstate New York,” Seggos said in a press release. “We are encouraging New Yorkers to help reduce the potential for negative interactions with bears by removing the things bears find attractive like pet food and trash.”

Summer is a busy time for bears, according to the DEC. Young bears disperse from family groups, breeding bears search for mates, and all bears forage for food to gain the fat needed for winter. With this increased activity comes a greater potential for human-bear conflicts, when bears find food near people.

New Yorkers living in bear country, which includes much of upstate New York, are asked to take a few simple steps this summer to protect their communities and bears from harm:

¯ Secure garbage indoors or a locked outbuilding until the morning of pickup.

¯ Remove bird feeders.

¯ Clean grease from grills.

¯ Secure livestock food and don’t feed pets outdoors.

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