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Wednesday, April 15, 2015


As a concerned and caring resident of Somers, I feel it is my duty to report to you that there have been bear sightings in nearby Yorktown, according to police. Residents are urged to stay indoors if a bear is spotted. They are also urging the bears to remain outdoors. I have never heard of spotted bear myself, but I guess they do exist if the police said so. I did hear that leopards were spotted in Africa. AND I saw somebody at the gym with a spotted leotard.

What kind of bear was it? Had the bear been large and seen around a lake or river, it might have been a grizzly sight. The Kodiak bear is indigenous to Alaska, so if you do see one around here, snap a picture of it, and treasure that Kodiak moment. The polar bear's range is mostly within the arctic circle but not in Antarctica, unless the bear is bi-polar. The panda bear is a genetic anomaly that scientists have been arguing over for years, since it has the characteristics of a bear, a raccoon and a stuffed animal.

More than likely the animal was a black bear, or "bear of color." This species of ursus americanus is at home in much of northern North America. Their habitat consists of forested areas with low populations in most of the contiguous United States. States that are not contiguous have a lot of explaining to do.

As a form of communication these bears are known to scratch or bite various marks into the trunks of trees. I consider myself something of an expert in this type of language, and the message I recently interpreted etched into a tree on my own property was "decent tree but its bark is worse than its bite."

The black bear is omnivorous, meaning that it eats both plants and animals, subsisting on nuts, seeds, honey, insects and meat. Garbage is extremely attractive to bears, according to the police, who offer guidelines about how to make your garbage less attractive, such as masking garbage odors with ammonia-soaked rags. If that does not work, or you have really attractive garbage, I would further suggest that you use a couple of tricks that I have seen supermodels use when they go out to dinner in the Hamptons. For instance, dress your garbage up in totally un-hot camouflage pants that obscure its long legs. Top your garbage off with a baseball cap and over-sized sunglasses, and make sure to use loose-fitting bags that do not show off your garbage's cans. By the way, if your garbage smells like ammonia-soaked rags, I have found that throwing some old food into the refuse container will help disguise the smell.

In more populated areas, the black bear's natural diet includes insurance forms, i-phone 5's, Birkenstock sandals, Gnarls Barkley CDs, Nicholas Sparks paperbacks, video cassettes and used Pop-Tarts. Although due to extensive body-shaming on social media they have cut down on the Pop-Tarts. It has since come out that Nicholas Sparks books are high in gluten, so those are out too.

The police report in Yorktown goes on to state that the bear was not actually seen, but that bear tracks were found and bird feeders tampered with. This wouldn't happen at our house, now that I have gotten serious after years of squirrel raiding at our feeder. Now I put the birdseed into a lead pipe, seal it at both ends and store it in my safe. No more squirrels!

Bears can be dangerous, so if you meet a bear face-to-face, it's a good idea to try to make yourself appear larger than you are. Open your coat and hold it in the air by the lapels. If you're not wearing anything underneath so much the scarier, at least in my case. If this does not increase your profile enough, lie about your accomplishments, such as what college you went to and your GPA while you were there. Brag that you have a BMW or Jaguar, and that it gets horrible gas mileage and you don't even care. The bear has probably already walked away making a disgusted sound, so you may have to follow it for a few minutes to talk about your kid's lacrosse playing.

I also read that a coyote was seen at a bar in Queens, but that is another story. And if you are at a bar in Queens during the wee hours and you don't know what the phrase "coyote ugly" means, write me and I will tell you- it could save you a lot of heartache, and the coyote some embarrassment.

Incidentally, one source reports that the largest American black bear reported weighed in at 902 pounds dressed, meaning an estimated 1,100 pounds when living. This proves what we have known along, that dressing in black has a slimming effect.