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Two Black Bear Sightings in North Salem

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. -- North Salem resident Nancy Welo was walking along Baxter Road about 8:30 a.m. Monday when she said she got the feeling that “something was up.” The 50 or so foxhounds who live on the road were all “on top of the table in their pen and extremely quiet.”

According to Welo, she glanced across the road into the Baxter Road Preserve and saw a black bear, heading toward the pond. “I think it was a male, about 200 pounds, which would make him an adolescent,” she said. “I’m from Minnesota and I’ve seen a lot of bears.”

Welo said she reasoned that lots of people walk their dogs in the preserve, so she called 911 to report the incident.

At about 11:45 a.m. the same morning Pat Sallstrom of the North Salem Recreation Department looked out the window of her office at Camp Hemlock in Mountain Lakes Park and saw “a black bear with an orange tan snout, sitting on the edge of the road. I’ve been working here for 32 years and it’s the first time I ever saw a bear.”

She contacted Town Supervisor Warren Lucas to report the sighting. Sallstrom said it could have been the same bear that visited Baxter Road. “He could have gotten into the park at Keeler Lane and wandered over here.”

Before any authorities arrived to deal with the situation, however, the bear “followed the path into the wooded area and bounced up Hunt Mountain,” Sallstrom said. “I think he’d decided he’d had enough of the human race.”

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