Winter Storm Incident Kills Bears in Allegany County

Image: mother and her cub that were killed by downed power lines in Allegany County. ~Photo courtesy of NYSDEC, Region 9~

On the weekend of December 4, 2010, heavy rains and strong winds caused a tree to topple onto power lines in the town of Alma, Allegany County. Shortly after the lines came down, an adult female black bear and one of her two cubs attempted to pass under the live wires. The sow (female bear) and cub were both electrocuted when they came in contact with the downed wires. DEC Law Enforcement responded to secure the bears until an investigation could be completed. Region 9 Wildlife Staff responded to examine and remove the carcasses of a 230 pound sow and 97 pound cub. The fate of the second cub is unknown; however, scientific documentation has shown that black bear cubs can be self sufficient as early as six months of age even though they normally remain with the sow for just under a year and half (16-17 months of age). Additionally, according to DEC wildlife biologist, Chuck Dente, if the cub is around 90 pounds it will have a very high chance of surviving on its own and will soon be finding a den site for the winter.