POMONA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Perhaps the porridge at the Mount Ivy Diner is just right.
WCBS 880’s Sean Adams On The Story
For the past couple of weeks, a family of black bears — a mother and three cubs — have been dumpster diving morning, noon, and night at the Pomona restaurant on Route 202.
“They’re coming for breakfast, lunch, and dinner,” said owner Ligeras Schilles. “I think they appreciate the fine food leftovers and I think that’s why we have them coming.”
The business has been open for 15 years and Schilles said this is the first time the bears have shown up.
“[Sunday] around lunchtime, it was so funny with this sign — the bears they knocked it down and then they went to this dumpster. It was magical how they lifted the lid…how nicely they did it, they went right in,” Schilles told CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman while showing him the area near the dumpsters.
Schilles called the bears “very nice” and said you don’t have to be afraid to come to the diner.
“The bears they seem to love the attention, they’re very comfortable and they’re very playful as well,” Schilles told 1010 WINS.
Schilles’ wife, Catherine, said it seemed the mother was quietly protective of her cubs as they ate.
“She was sitting right in front of the bin over there. So I didn’t feel scared or anything, she wasn’t running after the people,” she said.
However, The urged patrons to be respectful of the wild animals and keep their distance.
“I love nature, I love wildlife and I think we the people are intruding in their natural habitat and therefore they come and we find them in the dumpsters,” Schilles said.
Schilles said he took precautions and told his employees to be “extremely careful” and mindful of the bears when they are getting rid of the trash in the dumpsters which sit at the end of a long parking lot.
Animal Care and Control officers told Schilles to keep the dumpsters covered but he says the bins aren’t bear-proof and that the animals have been able to penetrate the lids.
Have you ever seen a wild bear? What was your experience? Share it below in the comments section.