GREENPORT — A black bear passing through Greenport, stopped for food on Fingar Road Wednesday night, Greenport police said Thursday.
Greenport Police were called to the area near the Hudson Valley Old Time Power Association, when a neighbor reported the bear, eating from the bird feeder.
Officer Jeremy Huyck responded to the scene around 8:30 p.m. and found the bear in a tree, according to Greenport Police Chief Kevin Marchetto. Huyck made no move against the animal and waited until the bear moved on.
Marchetto is reminding residents to not leave out food sources, including bird food and pet food, and to make sure garbage cans are covered and put away.
Black bears can remain dormant for up to five months in the winter, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation website, but milder-than-normal weather can bring them out early.
DEC said bears eat nearly everything, including bird seed, pet food and trash. According to wildlife experts, bears are intelligent and learn from experience. If an activity results in food, they will repeat that activity.
The best thing for homeowners to do is to not leave food sources outside, the DEC said. If a bear’s encounter with a human is negative, they will learn to avoid humans.
But when bears learn to obtain food from humans, they can become bold and aggressive, the DEC said. It is illegal to feed bears in New York State.
An average adult male black bear weighs around 300 pounds, the DEC said. The female averages 170 pounds.