Thursday, October 11, 2012

Country Cub Finds City Life Unbearable

PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY – October 11, 2012

A day for man interfacing with nature.

Before I left home this afternoon to shoot some photos down by the river and lake I noticed a report on the Press-Republican Website that a bear cub had been seen in the city but had left the area.

The 60 pound cub had been wandering around the Plattsburgh State campus in the morning but according to the news report the Plattsburgh Police Department thought it was leaving the city via Rugar Woods.

Apparently the cub had its own plans.

When I was crossing the footbridge over the Saranac River I noticed a fisherman standing in the water motion to a second one at something on the shore.  I spotted a black shape – about the size of a large furry dog – dash across the tree-lined pathway running parallel to the river, diving for cover in the brush.  I’m guessing it followed the river down from Rugar Woods; I doubt the timid visitor took a shortcut through the city proper.

The police chief and DEC (NYS Department of Environmental Conservation) officials soon showed up, asking people to leave the area.  I was able to take a couple of decent shots of the shy cub before moving on.  At one point the bear was out in the open by the sewage treatment plant roadway, good lighting from the sun, but I was too slow to get the image before he scrambled back into the brush.  Call it my fish-that-got-away story.

The young bear limped; apparently one of his paws was injured.

Later I saw police and DEC vehicles in the area of the boat basin, probably trying to coax the bear cub away.

So maybe it followed the lake shoreline back into the countryside.  Or it could’ve been making tracks on the railroad tracks.  Or maybe it was going to circle back through Rugar Woods and pay the college campus another visit.

Sometimes it’s not easy herding nature.

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