By IAN TULLY Contributing Writer and SUZANNE MOORE, News Editor
---- — PLATTSBURGH — The City of Plattsburgh was, well, bare of bears on Friday.
City of Plattsburgh and SUNY University police had no reports of sightings overnight or on Friday of the cub that toured the city on Thursday.
The black bear, first sighted by the residence halls at the west end of the SUNY Plattsburgh campus Thursday morning, caused a stir in the community.
“It is obviously unusual on a college campus and in the City of Plattsburgh to have the report of a bear cub,” said Jerry Lottie, assistant chief of University Police on Friday. “The concern was to make sure our campus community was aware and could take precautions.”
Shortly after the bear was first sighted, the college sent an email alert recommending that students, faculty and staff exercise caution in the area the cub had been seen.
SUNY Plattsburgh Child Care Center in Sibley Hall on Rugar Street kept its small charges indoors.
After the cub ran across the grounds of Plattsburgh High School, just a few yards from the building, the facility went on locked-in status. No one was to leave the building without main-office permission, and students were escorted by adults.
A cub on the loose might very well mean its mother was close by, many believed.
Later in the day, City Police issued a statement telling the public to avoid trying to see the bear, that it would likely leave the city if it were left alone.
The State Department of Environmental Conservation did not recommend interfering with the cub unless it tangled with a domestic pet or otherwise behaved other than a bear would.
Wildlife rehabilitator Rosemary Maglienti said bears do travel a fair distance, and it appeared this one was pretty much minding its own business. She felt it would make its way back to the wild.
Before it did, however, it got a taste of civilization.
Lottie said the bear was seen crossing busy Rugar Street close to its intersection at Sanborn Avenue.
It was spotted swimming in the Saranac River and made its way downtown to Lake Champlain, near the Naked Turtle bar/restaurant.
Both police departments monitored the cub until it left the vicinity later Thursday.
SEE THE VIDEO Check out video of the cub provided by Plattsburgh City Police with this article online at www.pressrepublican.com.