Updated 05/11/2012 06:39 PM
Stockade bear doing fine, but not the only wanderer
First Albany's South End, now Schenectady. Black bears have been popping up in the most unlikely places. Our Lori Chung has more on how the bear that caused a stir in the Stockade neighborhood is doing.
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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Appearing completely recovered, the black bear that sent the Stockade neighborhood into a tizzy heads for the deep of the woods after a harrowing day in unfamiliar territory.
Officers used tranquilizer darts to the coax the bear from this tree. Uninjured despite a 40 foot fall, the DEC officers released the bear in Delaware County. Officials say the wildlife encounter is a relative first for Schenectady PD.
"This is the only time that I recall in 18 years dealing with this sort of situation," said Schenectady Police Assistant Chief Brian Kilcullen.
DEC officials blame a stretch of unusually warm weather for dwindling the natural food sources bears find in the woods, causing them to search on unfamiliar, more urban grounds.
"Something like this is not something we can deal with on our own, a tranquilizer's appropriate in this case, which we don't carry," said Kilcullen.
It's an issue stretching farther than Schenectady. Another bear was tranquilized last week after climbing a tree in Albany's South End.
"It’s not every day you see a bear in downtown Albany, [but] our primary concern is public safety," said Steve Smith, Albany Police Spokesperson. "But what we're basically advised to do is contact [DEC] because they have the specific training to deal with that."
Despite the strange pattern, officials say wandering bears aren't a problem they expect to continue to deal with. But if another furry adventurer should pop up, they say public safety comes first and that quick call to DEC will bring help in a hurry.