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.

A photo displayed in the Mount Ivy Diner showing a bear hanging out in the dumpster - Pomona, NY - Sep 26, 2011 (credit: Sean Adams / WCBS 880)

A photo displayed in the Mount Ivy Diner showing a bear hanging out in the dumpster - Pomona, NY - Sep 26, 2011 (credit: Sean Adams / WCBS 880)

“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.

Comments (21)
  1. jim says:

    They’d look great caped out on my daughters wall

  2. Dogprotected says:

    entertainment in north woods of Wisconsin is to drive to the dump and watch the brown bears snacking. Often better than the drive-in, and more affordable, and less crowded.

  3. Jim Kingsland says:

    Mt Ivy Diner is one of my favorite diners in the area. These are harmless black bears not grizzlies who would squeeze your guts out. Nothing to be afraid of with the black bears, just dont get too close and let them do their own thing should you be lucky to get a first hand sighting.

  4. two cents says:

    At some point, Fiah and Game may have to tranquilize and relocate them, which in the long run may be the best thing for the bears and the humans.

  5. Achilles Ligeras says:

    I am the proud owner of Mount Ivy Diner and I am trying to handle the situation with the outmost respect for Mama Bear and her cubs and at the same time having in mind the safety of my customers and employees. The simple truth is that we the people, the most dangerous predators on earth, are invading their natural habitat and that’s why we find these highly intelligent survivors in the dumpsters eating fine food leftovers. As for the person who claims that I let myself open to a lawsuit, I am stating publicly that if that happens I will be paying out the judgement with Greek Junk Bonds!!!!! Easy folks, I am just trying to do the right thing.

  6. NYC IS A CESSPOOL says:


  7. Nick says:

    It’s a lawsuit waiting to happen. Wait until some gets killed. Than you airheads wouldn’t being cooing: aw, how cute…

    1. jms says:

      black bears are extremely passive animals unless you have a mother protecting her cub. i don’t think there have been any fatal black bear attacks in this region for many many years, if at all.

      1. Nick says:

        So which part of this is a mother bear and her cubs were you too stupid to understand?

  8. jms says:

    was this bear wearing a straw hat with a tie and chwing on a toothpic?

  9. Darla says:

    I don’t think the owner of the diner “thinks its funny”. He’s just trying to co-exist with nature. After all, we are moving into the bear’s territory. I find black bears are not dangerous. They always dumpster dive at our office building dumpster and they NEVER bother anyone. They just eat and leave. Why would we have to kill a bear that is just trying to feed its family and survive in a world that is becoming smaller and smaller for them. Why is killing nature always the solution!

    1. Bklyn mom says:

      Well said! There is probably not enough food in the woods for the bears to eat so they come to where the food is. And it’s a mother and 3 cubs. Leave them alone.

    2. Christina Roth-Lorusso says:

      I couldn’t agree more!!! We have moved into their neighborhood…as long as everone remembers they are wild animals, I’m sure we could co-exist 🙂 Personally I love to see bears in their natural enviroment instead of behind a fence in the zoo!

  10. George W. says:

    Linda is totally correct. Part of the problem is that there is so little public information regarding the illegality of feeding bears or even having a situation like this one where bears are fed. Fish and wildlife should take out full page ads and create public service commercials for TV to alert citizens to the dangers of feeding bears. Bears belong in the woods eating acorns and berries — not at your local diner.

  11. Linda says:

    Doesn’t this guy know he is putting these bears lives in jeopardy ? He should have his trash bin lid secured so the bears can’t get in. Fish and Game will be coming, then have to kill these bears because of careless people, how sad. The owner will probably end up paying a fine also then won’t think its so funny.

    1. Scott says:

      I’m Linda, the wicked witch of the East and I’m a good witch. NOT !

      1. Nick says:

        Drank to kool-aide once too often, huh, Scott?

        1. Richard Head says:

          First day with the English language, eh, Nick?

          1. Nick says:

            If there’z no mispelln and grammar, how will your imbeciles ever get to reply?

    2. joey from B'hurst says:

      The article states the bins are bear-proof. The bears are probably attracted to the cooking smell, and found the bins instead. Would you prefer if the bears entered the diner and scavenged for food there? This is not ticket-happy NYC, so I don’t see why a fine would be imposed.

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