Is it me or are we seeing more bear sightings in the Southern Tier? Maybe they've always been around but we see them more because it's posted on Facebook. When I lived in Vestal, I never saw a bear but I see plenty of them now on FB.

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The latest bear sighting comes to us from Norwich. On Thursday, June 17th, a large male black bear was seen on Calvary Drive near Rexford Street and NYS 23. By the responses, he's been seen around the area more times than a town drunk.

Norwich black bear
Credit: Norwich Police Department
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That leads me to my next question. What should you do if you spot a bear? The NYS Department of Environmental Conversation has some suggestions.

What To Do When You Spot A Black Bear

Don't approach the bear - If you're inside your home and the bear is on your lawn, make some loud noises inside and that should cause the bear to leave the area.

Remove easily accessible food sources - If you have bird feeders, messy grills, garbage cans, or pet food on your property then move it, secure, or remove them altogether.

Garbage is very attractive to bears - Keep your refuse in sealed garbage cans inside a garage or shed. If you find bears frequently foraging through your garbage, get a bear-resistant trash container.

Remove the grease can from grills after every use - When you are done cooking, turn the grill on "High" for a few minutes and the scapes and odors that were left behind will be gone.

Don't feed your pets outside - The food that is left behind or the empty dish can draw the attention of a bear looking for a snack.

These are just a few ideas to keep Yogi, Smokey, or Pooh away. Go here for other ideas so that you can keep your stuff in one piece.

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