PLATTSBURGH — The bear cub spotted exploring the City of Plattsburgh on Thursday was no cause for concern and should be left alone, police say.
The hope was it would make tracks to the wild on its own.
Officers followed the small black bear around the city Thursday, working alongside the State Department of Environmental Conservation.
The sub-adult cub was spotted in numerous places, including the SUNY Plattsburgh campus and outside the Naked Turtle restaurant downtown.
It had been seen paddling along in the Saranac River, as well.
It’s a pretty good swimmer, said City Police Lt. Scott Beebie.
He said the bear was not rabid, but just young, confused and very skittish.
“The DEC has advised us to leave it alone,” he said.
And he asked that all residents to do the same.
He said the animal, which may or may not have been injured, was not a threat to residents. And people were asked to take care not to scare the bear.
“The worst thing that could happen is that it could tree itself or get backed into a corner,” Beebie said.
Unless the animal were to attack a domestic pet or otherwise stray from the normal sort of behavior for its species, police would take no action.
Authorities were unsure how old the cub is or what brought it to the city.
“If it’s a yearling, it’s very possible its mother kicked it out,” Beebie said.
There’s also the unfortunate possibility that the cub’s mother is injured or dead, he added.
SUNY Plattsburgh University Police took its first call on the bear at 9:48 a.m.
“Some of the college staff saw it,” Lt. Frank Salvamoser said.
It was described as weighing about 60 pounds, he reported.
Ashley Tyree, 21, was in class in Sibley Hall Thursday morning.