Local Woman Talks About Her Close Encounter With A Black Bear

Local Woman Talks About Her Close Encounter With A Black Bear

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Last week, a viewer sent in this photo of a black bear that was spotted in Rossie.

Other viewers quickly responded with several bear sightings in the north country. One of them is Elizabeth Filkins of Antwerp, who was training for a marathon at the time.

"As I was running, up ahead there was a bear that crossed the road. It made me stop for a second. It certainly startled me," she said.

Filkins says she has run into a bear before, but not this close.

"He ran across the road, but I was still in his home, so you can't really fault the bear," she said.

With Filkins' experience and other people claiming to spot black bears, we asked the state Department of Environmental Conservation if this is becoming more common in the north country.

"It's actually relatively rare. If you see one that's not causing trouble, enjoy the experience and keep a safe distance as always," said Andrew MacDuff, DEC regional wildlife manager.

If you do run into a bear and it's causing problems, MacDuff says call the DEC and file a nuisance complaint.

As for Filkins, she had to change her route.

"I had to stop and I couldn't go forward. The bear didn't see me, but I still couldn't take any chances," she said.

And if you happen to have a more serious run in with a bear than Filkins did, the number to call the DEC is 315-785-2239.

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