A black bear has been spotted in a residential area of Higby Road in New Hartford. Christine Martin took a photo of the footprint left by the beast that was taking a winter stroll through her neighborhood. She spotted the bear in her back yard on Tuesday night on Higby, near Mohawk Street.

It is very common in some northern areas to see the animal, but not as common in the suburbs. The State DEC office has all the information you need to know if you encounter a bear in the wild. According to their website,

Never Approach, Surround, or Corner a Bear - Bears aggressively defend themselves when they feel threatened. Be especially cautious around cubs as mother bears are very protective.

Never Run from a Bear- stay calm, speak in a loud and calm voice, slowly back away and leave the area.

In Your Yard:

  • From a safe distance, make loud noises by shouting or banging pots to scare the bear away.
  • Once the bear leaves, remove all attractants such as bird seed, garbage, and pet food.
  • Ask neighbors to remove attractants.

If you see a bear in your region contact your local law enforcement or DEC office.