Bear spotted in New York, seeking food in trash

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Marcus Solis reports on a Rockland County family's close encounter with a bear. (Ramapo Police Department)

The bears are coming. And they're hungry.

That's the message from Ramapo police, who are reminding residents that spring means bears are emerging from hibernation and becoming more active this time of year.

On Friday, the Ramapo Police Department responded to a report of a bear in the driveway of a home on Haverstraw Road in Montebello.

Authorities say a female bear was eating from a garbage can outside, preventing the homeowner from leaving the house.

Chase Natale had no problem walking around the side of his house Tuesday, but Friday night was a different story when the family had an unexpected and hungry visitor.

"We were all in the living room and my brother heard some noises outside and all of a sudden we opened the window right here, the curtain window, and we see this huge bear in the garbage can and there's garbage all over the place," Natale said.

Chase's father took a photo of the bear from an inside window. The house is on Route 202 on Haverstraw Road as it's called in Montebello.

Homes there abut Harriman State Park. Wildlife sightings are fairly common. Still, the family eventually had to call Ramapo police because the bear wasn't going anywhere.

"The cops came and they had the lights on it and it wouldn't move, it was just staring at 'em," said Chase. "It was the funniest thing but it was just there for about 20 minutes. It was just cool to see a bear right in our window."

Eventually the bear did wander off.

Police said that any type of food outside will attract bears.

They recommend putting garbage cans inside a garage or shed.

One area resident had her own close encounter last year.

"I was watering the plants at midnight, what can I say, and I heard a rustling through the woods and I looked up and not 20 feet away from me was this massive black bear just looking at me," said Elf Ahearn of Montebello.

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