Multiple sightings of bear reported at refuge

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 October 2014 at 12:00 am

Provided photo – Wildlife refuge specialist Megan Davis took this photo of a bear at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge on Oct. 9. The bear has been spotted numerous times west of Route 63.

BASOM – A black bear has been spotted multiple times at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. There is even a photo from wildlife specialist Megan Davis to prove the bear has been on the refuge.

Refuge staff and visitors have seen bear tracks and some people have said they saw a bear in past years. But this may be the first time there have been multiple sightings of the same bear, said Tom Roster, refuge manager.

The bear has been spotted west of Route 63 on the Kanyoo Trail. Residents also have said they saw a bear nearby at the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. Roster said it could be the same animal.

“We’ve been getting more and more sightings,” he said this afternoon. “We’ve had multiple sightings within 10 days.”

Roster said refuge visitors should be cautious if they see the bear. The bear isn’t expected to attack, but if it feels cornered or threatened, it could be aggressive, he said.

“You should always be careful around wild animals,” Roster said.