PICTURES: Bear Spotted Roaming Through Fishkill, NY Residence
A resident in Fishkill, New York started their day to quite the surprise. Jacki Albach posted to a Fishkill, NY-based Facebook group pictures of a bear roaming near Osborne Hill Rd. It's an exhilarating sight to see from indoors, but not something you want to encounter face to face. Regardless of how cute and cuddly it might look, it is definitely not your childhood teddy bear or Winnie the Pooh.
Some people in the Facebook group made light of the situation by leaving comments such as:
I’m going to go ask if it wants to wrestle!
Some people who commented were not surprised by this sighting in the slightest.
I've had several bear sightings on my property on Osborne Hill over the past few years
Those who have seen the bear in the area before tried to reassure others that there is little to fear:
Have seen him/her several times. Minding his own business. Just dumpster diving for food.
A couple people pointed out the lack of land for bears and other creatures to roam.
We keep building and pushing wildlife into populated areas
I feel bad they feel the need to come to populated areas - stay safe
How to Handle a Bear Encounter
This time of year is not uncommon for bear sightings. The end of summer/early fall timeframe is actually a popular time for bear sightings. The National Park Service says,
As the summer season ends, the air becomes crisp, leaves change and fall from trees, and bears become more active. They're on the hunt for food. During the fall months, bears eat and drink nearly nonstop. They need to put on weight to prepare for winter and hibernation.
But what do you do if you encounter a bear? Well, if you are inside, stay inside! Though bear attacks are rare, they have occurred and can be deadly. If you are outside when a bear comes near you, it is best to keep your distance and to try not to surprise it.
According to the National Parks Service, if you come across a bear, they recommend these tricks to stay safe.
- Identify Yourself - Talk calmly to show the bear you are a human and not prey. Stand your ground and slowly waves your arms. This is to help the bear recognize you are human. Don't get too worried if the bear goes onto its hind legs. They say a standing bear is usually curious, not threatening.
- Stay Calm - Most bears just want to be left alone. Most do no want to attack you. If they've wandered into your residence, they are curious and/or looking for food. Bears may also react defensively by wooﬁng, yawning, salivating, growling, snapping their jaws, and laying their ears back. Continue to talk to the bear in low tones; this will help you stay calmer, and it won't be threatening to the bear. A scream or sudden movement may trigger an attack. Never imitate bear sounds or make a high-pitched squeal.
- Pick up Small Children Immediately - It is important to remember not to make any loud noises or screams, a bear may think its the sound of prey.
- Stay in Groups - If you happen to be outside with a group, this is to your advantage. Bears are intimidated by groups and will be less likely to bother you.
- Make Yourself As Big As Possible - Hence the waving of your arms slowly. You are extending your presence. Also, if possible, move slowly and carefully to higher ground.
- If the bear is stationary, move away slowly and sideways; this allows you to keep an eye on the bear and avoid tripping. Moving sideways is also non-threatening to bears.
- Do NOT run - but if the bear follows, stop and hold your ground. Bears can run as fast as a racehorse both uphill and down. Like dogs, they will chase ﬂeeing animals.
- Do NOT climb a tree - Both grizzlies and black bears can climb trees.
- Be especially cautious if you see a female with cubs; never place yourself between a mother and her cub, and never attempt to approach them. The chances of an attack escalate greatly if she perceives you as a danger to her cubs.