An Otego resident had an unexpected visitor at their home over the weekend. At around 10:30 on Saturday night, resident Matthew Hotaling's doorbell camera went off. This wasn't a visit from friends ready to party during a storm, it was a local black bear.

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According to a Facebook post, the bear was sighted at the Sunset Mobile Home Park on County Route 48 in Otego. The cheeky post asks that you "Bear" witness to the trailer park bear. The post goes on to advise people to secure their bird feeders and bbq grills in case of other visits.

Other residents saw the bear in the vicinity. One resident captured a photo of it chowing down amidst a cluster of trash cans.

Samantha Seeley
Samantha Seeley

Bear sightings in Central New York were rare at one time, but are not are not uncommon.  According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 30-35% of New York's black bear population lives in the Catskill region.

The NYSDEC warns strongly against feeding or interacting with black bears despite their cute and cuddly appearance. Seeing a bear this time of year may be connected to them coming out of their 5 month or so hibernation. They are omnivorous and opportunistic eaters, and will consume fruits, nuts, seeds, insects, carrion in the wild, and when near humans, will go for corn, bird seed, trash, and pet foods.

Bears can become aggressive and bold towards humans when they find a human related food source leading to human-bear conflicts. Feeding bears intentionally is illegal in New York State. Often times, bears will eat soap, shaving cream, insect repellent, and packaging, causing drastic harm to the animals.

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