The state Department of Environmental Conservation is advising the public to be alert for two captive black bears that escaped from the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge in Wilmington recently.
The bears were reported missing on Saturday, March 30, and remained at large as of Friday morning, according to the DEC. The bears were raised from cubs at the facility and may not be as afraid of people as a typical wild bear, according to the DEC.
One of the escaped bears is solid black and has a silver ear tag. The other bear is chocolate brown and has a “v-notched” ear. DEC and local partners are working to capture and return the animals to the refuge.
These animals are not believed to be aggressive, but standard precautions should be taken to avoid attracting the bears, or any wild bears currently coming out of hibernation, according to the DEC.
DEC asks the public to keep trash and recycling inside or locked up, discontinue feeding birds, and avoid feeding pets outside. DEC urges the public not to feed or approach these or any bears. For more information about how to avoid bear conflicts, please visit the DEC’s website.
The public is asked to contact DEC Law Enforcement Dispatch Center immediately at 1-844-332-3267 to report bear sightings.