By Jeffery Smith

CORNING - An uptick in the number of bear complaints throughout the city, especially in Westwood Heights in the city’s 4th Ward, has hit the area.

Jeanne Greger, a member of Neighborhood Watch, said many residents throughout the city’s western Southside have seen a large female bear and two cubs.

“The most active areas have been when people put out garbage or bird feeders,” Greger said. “That’s what is attracting them."

City Police Lt. Jeff Heverly said up to a dozen reports have been received of bears in residents' back yards, damaging bird feeders, and tearing apart garbage.

City officials encourage people to follow practical guidelines set out by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Heverly said some of those guidelines include storing garbage and bird seed in secure containers and keeping those containers in a secure place, such as a garage.

Put garbage out only on mornings when it is scheduled to be collected, Heverly said. Only feed birds from December 1, to April 1st. Feed family pets indoors, and clean your grill after every use.

Most importantly never ever approach a bear. Bears are large powerful wild animals that act and react out of instinct.

“People should know bears have been around a lot and to stay away from them,” said Chris Sutton, a West Fourth Street resident. “People that get in between a cub and their mom will be in big trouble.”

Heverly said residents can get more information at