Have You Seen New York’s “Mission Impossible” Bear?
I don't know who said what to a local New York black bear, but I imagine it went something like this: "Your mission, if you choose to accept it: steal human food and escape undetected... this message will self destruct in five seconds".
It's officially bear and camping season in Empire State, and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) is warning hikers that previously-successful methods of keeping bears away from their dinner may now be history. The bears, it seems, are adapting.
Black Bears in New York
"With the hiking and camping season well underway, we want to remind everyone that bear-resistant canisters are required in the Eastern/Central Adirondack High Peaks Wilderness and are STRONGLY encouraged everywhere else", began a recent post from the NYS DEC. "Adirondack black bears are clever creatures, making bear bags and hang sacks relatively ineffective against many High Peaks bears".
"Acrobat" Bears in the Adirondacks, NY
The picture they shared of an inverse bear shimmying across a rope to a bird feeder might baffle even the most seasoned outdoorsperson. The bear (which the DEC calls their "acrobatic friend"), seems to be doing its best Mission Impossible (or is it Cliffhanger?) impression and it tries to raid a birdhouse.
New York Residents React to Mission: Impossible Bear
"In all seriousness.. WHAT is the feeder strung up on because I need a rope that can take weight of a bear", marveled one commenter. "He's just tight rope walking upside down that's all", joked another. While the mood was light, the core message wasn't. The more measures taken to keep bears away from humans (and their food), the more likely these animals will survive in the wild.
Bear Safety in New York
"Bears will readily utilize human-created food sources and repeat access can make bears bolder", shared the NYS DEC. Tips to avoid bear contact include taking down bird feeders (like the one our friend was trying to access) in spring and summer months, properly cleaning and storing outdoor cooking equipment like grills, and properly securing garbage cans.
Not all bears are Tom Cruise wannabes... some are just doing their best Tigger impression. Check out the bear who got themselves stuck in a tree on the SUNY New Paltz campus below, and keep scrolling for more bear safety tips.