LANCASTER, N.Y. (WKBW) — Police in Lancaster are warning the public about a black bear roaming a trail in town.
Authorities say the Heritage Trail between Cemetery Road and Town Line Road is closed due to the sighting of a black bear.
Police investigated the area and discovered bear tracks.
Barricades and warning signs are posted at the entrance to the trail.
According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, black bears normally start coming out of their dens in mid-March, but it is not unusual for bears to be spotted in the winter, especially when the weather is mild.
The SPCA serving Erie County tells 7 Eyewitness News that they are also seeing indications that the mild weather is making wildlife more active when it comes to finding food.
Animal experts advise not to approach or run from a bear if spotted because it’s predatory instinct could trigger and it could chase you. Anyone that comes in contact with a bear should back away slowly while still facing it.
Anyone who sees a bear should call the DEC's Bureau of Wildlife at (716) 379-6402.