This is from our local paper. Very rare indeed!
Bear roams near Coopertown school
By Mark Boshnack
Things were a little out of the ordinary Thursday morning at Cooperstown Middle/High School when a bear was spotted behind the building, officials said.
The incident occurred without any injuries to the animal or humans, those interviewed said.
A bear stands against a tree in the yard of a home on Linden Avenue in Cooperstown on Thursday. The Cooperstown Middle/High School (not visible) is in the area directly behind the bear.
An adolescent-sized black bear was seen next to the property on Linden Avenue around 7:50 a.m., Superintendent Mary Jo McPhail said, and a fence around that section of the school helped keep the bear off district property.
After it was sighted, she said, "We made an announcement to keep students and staff in the building as a precaution.
"We went about regular business," she said, and local law-enforcement officials were notified, who made sure the bear got back into the woods.
Cooperstown village police, Richfield Springs troopers and Otsego County sheriffâ€™s deputies were at the scene.
David Bertram, a sixth-grade social studies teacher, was able to take a photo of the bear. School and law-enforcement officials handled the situation well, he said.
He has been teaching at Cooperstown for eight years. Although Bertram said he had never seen a bear near the school before, there have been more area sightings over the years.
Cooperstown Police Chief Diana Nicols said the bear went back into the woods at about 9:10 a.m.
A trooper "encouraged" it back in at the west side of Grove Street, she said. "We went there to make sure people maintained a safe distance."
A senior wildlife biologist with the Stamford Department of Environmental Conservation, Bill Sharick, said such encounters are becoming more common in Otsego County.
If people use common sense, he said, there is not much danger in these kinds of incidents. But since a bear is a wild animal, people should be careful not to back it into a corner and make it defensive.
It could be a combination of things that brought the bear out, he said.
Young male bears are often traveling this time of year to define their territory. Itâ€™s also very possible it was looking for food, Sharick said. If this was the case, to prevent its return, common precautions include storing garbage properly, thoroughly cleaning backyard barbecues and getting rid of birdseed.