CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. -- In the spring, does a young bear’s fancy turns to thoughts of love?
Not necessarily, say Clarkstown police -- it’s more likely garbage that bruins want as the weather warms up.
Police said Thursday that they have received several sightings of wandering black bears in the central Nyack area.
When the animals emerge from their long winter’s nap -- usually in March and May – they are as hungry as, well, bears.
Where better to grab a quick snack than trash cans, dumpsters, bird feeders, and pet food left outside?
(Bird feeders, said police, are not supposed to be out after April 1.)
Mother bears are super protective of their cubs and should never be encountered.
If humans are near, mama may send the babies up a tree and return to get them when the coast is clear, usually after dark.
A bear will warn off enemies woofing, clacking its teeth, or slapping the ground.
In case you were thinking you could outrun a bear, know this: they can run up to 35 mph, and that’s uphill, or down. They are also adept climbers, so shimmying up a tree isn’t likely to do you much good either.
It’s best to do your admiring from a very safe distance away.
Here are some tips:
- If a bear is on your property, give it space. Bring your pets inside to give it a clear path to leave.
- If you see a cub, do not try to move or “save" it.
- Do not store household trash, or anything that smells like food, in vehicles, on porches or decks.
- Keep your trash containers secured in a garage, shed or basement.
- Take your garbage to the dump frequently.
- If you have a trash collection service, put your trash out the morning of the pickup, not the night before.
If you spot a bear, contact the state Department of Environmental Conservation by calling (845) 256-3098.
If there is a more pressing situation, such as the bear near a school with children present, contact police at (845) 639-5800.
In a true emergency, dial 911.
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