Black bears spotted at homes throughout the Capital Region

NASSAU, N.Y. (NEWS10) – It’s that time of year when many people begin reporting local black bear sightings.

“I just looked out the sliding glass door, and I saw movement, black movement,” Mario Hepp said. “Lo and behold, here they came rolling down the hill.”

PHOTO: Carol Sebastino
PHOTO: Carol Sebastino

Mario Hepp had some unexpected visitors Tuesday morning – a mom and her cub roaming around his backyard. Hepp was smart enough to take all his bird feed out before spring, but that didn’t stop the mama bear from double checking.

“She’s probably six feet tall,” Hepp said. “When there’s not enough in the woods, this is an easy hit.”

But that wasn’t the first sighting for Hepp’s family in Nassau. Some now mangled suet cages are souvenirs from his uninvited guests last spring.

“I usually find those behind a tree somewhere, and they’ve destroyed it,” he said.

Around 6 a.m. Thursday, Carol Sebastino took some pictures of a black bear that made a visit to her Pownal, Vt. home.  It was also interested in her bird feeders.

PHOTO: Carol Sebastino
PHOTO: Carol Sebastino

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said bird feeders cause 80 percent of all bear problems around homes. Therefore, the DEC suggests people take in the feed after April 1.

The DEC recommends waiting until the morning of trash pickup before taking trash curbside and to not leave any food outside, including leftover pet food.

But sometimes a visit from mama bear is inevitable. Hepp said he sees a black bear in his yard every spring, so as long as he’s indoors, he doesn’t mind the entertainment.

“It’s still fun to see,” he said. “Hey, I’m behind glass, so they can’t see me.”

Homeowners said they usually see a black bear this time of year except seeing two in the morning is rare.

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