Sightings on the rise as bears seek essentials

Jun 3, 2014

Another bear sighting was reported in the town of Lancaster on Monday. The sighting along Genesee Street added to what is a growing list of bear encounters over recent days.

Residents are reminded to use caution when encountering the animals, though Joe Allen of the Environmental Studies Program at the University at Buffalo believes there is little cause for alarm.

"We're just seeing these young males and they are kind of exorcising their adolescent demons," Allen told WBFO News.

A female bear would be a different story.

"A mother bear with cubs is probably the most dangerous thing in the wild," he said.

Allen says these young males are in search of food and exploring the territory.

"Around here, people aren't used to it (having bears around). So, they are not used to taking in their hummingbird feeders. They're not used to not feeding the birds. They're not used to having bear-proof garbage containers.These bears are spreading out, finding available food."

Though bears try to avoid contact with humans, they have been observed in recent days in Alden, West Seneca and Batavia.

"I fear for them (the bears) because people don't really understand what's going on," Allen said.

"Hopefully, they will tranquilize the bear and move him, if they can have some of  the Game and Fish people come in. But sometimes people just take it into their own hands and will shoot the bear, which is unfortunate. Unless it's threatened, it's really not such a big deal."