The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is advising the public to be alert for two captive black bears that escaped from the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge in Wilmington last Saturday.
The bears were raised from cubs at the facility and may not be as afraid of people as a typical wild bear.
Despite their common name, black bears have several different color phases and sometimes have white markings on their chest. One of the escaped bears is solid black and has a silver ear tag. The other bear is chocolate brown and has a “v-notched” ear.
DEC and local partners are working to capture and return the animals to the refuge.
The public is asked to contact the DEC Law Enforcement Dispatch Center immediately at 1-844-332-3267 to report bear sightings. These animals are not believed to be aggressive, but standard precautions should be taken to avoid attracting the bears, or any wild bears currently coming out of hibernation.
DEC asks the public to keep trash and recycling inside or locked up, discontinue feeding birds, and avoid feeding pets outside. The public should never approach or feed bears.
For more information about how to avoid bear conflicts, please visit: http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6995.html.