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Bear sighting: West Seneca Police report backyard explorer

'The best thing to do if you find a bear in your backyard is to simply leave it alone,' the police department said Friday in a Facebook post.
Credit: Lancaster Police Department

WEST SENECA, N.Y. — In February, the Lancaster Police Department reported a bear sighting that shut down a section of the Heritage Trail.

In early June, the Cheektowaga Police Department reported that a bear had been spotted in the area of George Urban Boulevard and Sable Palm Drive, east of Dick Road.

Now the West Seneca Police Department reports that a bear has been spotted in the area of East and West Road, with its last appearance in the Nina Terrace area.

"The best thing to do if you find a bear in your backyard is to simply leave it alone," the police department said Friday in a Facebook post.

"Taking away food sources (garbage, bird feeders etc) is the easiest way to keep them out of your yard. Without access to food they will generally move on. Bear attacks on humans are extremely rare."

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation says black bear movement increases in June as the breeding season begins and young bears disperse to find their own space. Yearlings — bears that are 1 year old — tend to wander through suburban or urban neighborhoods, according to the DEC.

"We have recently begun to see a rise in reported sightings of black bears in suburban and urban areas," New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a June statement.

"While seeing a bear is an exciting experience for many New Yorkers, bears that are inadvertently fed by humans exhibit unnatural behaviors and can become a nuisance. DEC encourages homeowners, property managers, and outdoor enthusiasts to follow guidance to reduce bears' access to attractants like garbage, birdseed, and pet food to discourage nuisance bears."

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