Several bear sightings in Orchard Park, police warn residents to stay away

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — “I was getting up and getting ready for a shower and then it kind of startled me and scared me,” said Tracy Todaro of Orchard Park.

When Tracy Todaro realized her bird feeder was missing, she knew an unexpected guest had paid a visit to her backyard.

“Went through the yard and saw remnants and pieces of the bird feeder,” said Todaro.

A bear mangled her bird feeder, and ate the food.

“The wrapper was there with tall field grass that was matted down from where the bear decided to have a snack,” said Todaro.

It’s not the first time Tracy has seen a bear in her neighborhood, and certainly not the first time Orchard Park Police have heard about bear sightings in the town.

“We have a bear and a big cat that have been playing around in the town for a couple of months now,” said Mark Pacholec, Orchard Park Police Chief.

Orchard Park police say there was a similar incident on Cole Road a couple years ago.

“A mom and two cubs were tearing apart a bird feeder and the woman went out with a broom to scare the bear away,” said Pacholec.

Orchard Park Police Chief Mark Pacholec warns for your own safety: leave the bears alone. He says they have the right of way.

“We’ve redeployed some of our trail cams that our animal control officers have, to see if we can catch this animal, see where it is,” said Pacholec.

As for the bear, there’s no telling if it’s the same one that’s been around for the past couple years. But if it does come around again, Tracy might name it.

“Yeah maybe yogi,” said Todaro.

Residents are urged to be careful with bird feeders. Keep them away from your home so you don’t get any unexpected visitors.

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