Big black bear runs up tree after getting scared by small dog

SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A Schoharie County woman was awoken by an intruder, but it wasn’t a human encounter. Rather, a furry visitor with a taste for birdseed.

Marge Rivenberg, of Schoharie, loves the birds in her yard, so she keeps her birdseed in a large container. She makes sure to cover it by putting two bricks on top to keep animals out.

But Tuesday night, an animal of a much larger size wanted in.

“We heard this crash,” she said. “Oh my gosh, what is that? So the dog and I came flying out the door, and the birdseed was laying all on the porch. I thought, ‘Oh that’s strange. A squirrel can’t do that.’”

She was right. Her dog, Mindy, took off after the birdseed thief and chased it up a tree.

“She was barking up the tree,” Rivenberg said. “I said, ‘Oh, something’s moving. Oh, my gosh, it’s a bear!’ We never had a bear here before. I was so excited.”

The black bear, fearful of little Mindy the dog, scampered 30 feet up the tree and was holding on for dear life.

Rivenberg called the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the sheriff’s office. Rivenberg said the sheriff’s office shined  a light on the bear, and the bear growled in response.

“He didn’t like bright lights, I guess,” Rivenberg said.

Being that most of her neighbors are a country mile away, the deputies decided to leave the bear alone and wait.

“This morning, I came out right away, and he was gone,” Rivenberg said.

Rivenberg is glad officials didn’t take any drastic measures to get the bear down from the tree.

“I am glad,” she said. “I wish the bears would come here instead of Albany. You know, they Taser them, and they fall out of the tree. And then they have to be euthanized sometimes, and it breaks my heart.”

In the end nothing bad happened to the bear.

“They let him go,” Rivenberg said. “Let him be happy in the woods where he lives.”

And the woods – it’s where a bear, a nice lady, and her dog can enjoy the country together.

The photographs were taken by Cecil Savage.

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