Tara Fuller looked on as state wildlife officials tracked Plattsburgh's newest unofficial mascot-- a bear.
"This is my lunch break time," said Tara Fuller of Plattsburgh. "I come out and check and make sure she is doing alright."
For the past month, the young bear cub has been living in trees near the city bike path.
"She's just adorable, she is just a fuzzy ball of fur," Fuller said.
"He looks very healthy, probably weighs about 40 pounds, lots of good fur, eating well, he's able to get around fine, lots of good den places down there," said Ed Reed of the N.Y. Conservation Department.
Even though the bear could survive the winter where it is and has not posed a danger to any residents, some have expressed concern about living so close to the wild animal. Wildlife officials have agreed to try to move the bear to a more suitable habitat. They came prepared Wednesday to tranquilize it. But this bear cub apparently does not want to leave. Last week he made off with pastries from a trap. And as biologists approached Wednesday, the animal darted up a tree.
"He was too far up in the tree," Reed said. "We didn't want to dart him because he would fall and possibly get injured."
They tried other scare tactics as well.
"Usually pounding on the tree makes them uncomfortable and they come down the tree," Reed said. "It's worked many times for us."
After a two-hour standoff, the bear was declared the winner.
"It just went to sleep on us," Reed said.
DEC says they will leave the cub alone for the next week or two, meaning the bear will continue to be the center of attention in Plattsburgh.
"It's fascinating to see a bear cub in the area," Fuller said. "It's not exactly the wilds out here."
A young bear that appears cozy in his lakeside tree.
Biologists are not sure of the sex of the young cub, but it was born either last year or earlier this year. And no one knows where the mother is. She could have died or just abandoned her cub.
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