POUND RIDGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Westchester County couple is sharing their story after a massive black bear stopped for a snack in their backyard.
CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported Tuesday on the exclusive video taken just a few dozen feet away.
“I said, ‘Oh my God, look! There’s a bear in the backyard!” said Sylvia Smolensky of Pound Ridge. “It was just big.”
The bear weighed nearly 300 pounds. Smolensky and her husband, Steven Silberstang, watched in amazement and shot video from the balcony of their Pound Ridge home on Sherwood Road.
“He pushed it over, and pulled it apart, and was scooping out the birdseed,” Smolensky said.
The bear was so strong it was actually able to rip part of the bird feeder from the metal base – the bear snapped it. And some of the damage all over the couple’s yard was still visible Tuesday.
“I’m a civil engineer,” Silberstang said. “I mean, it’s pretty hard to, you know, you need a machine to break steel like that. You can’t do it by hand.”
But the bear did just that – sticking around for more than half an hour before police officers showed up. Eventually, the bear wandered back to the woods near their home.
Luckily, the run-in happened during the day.
“You do worry about coming out at night,” Smolensky said.
And in northern Westchester County, that is always a possibility – especially during the fall.
“They need to gain a lot of weight at this time of year. They want to build that food supply, get that fat supply, so they’re going to be looking everywhere to find food,” said Westchester County Assistant Commissioner of Health Pete DeLucia.
DeLucia said that includes people’s property.
“In northern Westchester, there’s a lot of open space — but there’s also a lot of backyards,” he said.
DeLucia said you should never leave any food source in your yard, and if you want to feed the birds, do it in the winter when the bears are hibernating.
Black bears typically start hibernating in October or November.