Around 2 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, Albany Police sent out a message through Nixle telling citizens that a black bear was spotted walking through yards near South Manning Boulevard and Keeler Drive.

That is a very residential part of Albany, equidistant from St. Peter's Hospital and The Albany Jewish Community Center on Whitehall Road. This area is no stranger to bears and a few people have claimed on social media that they had seen the black bear wandering through the streets. Police are asking anyone to call their non-emergency phone number if they spot it.

One video was shot by an Albany Police Officer identified as Andrew Walsh.

It's not terribly uncommon for these animals to roam through residential neighborhoods searching for some food or a comfortable to place to rest on its way back to the forest.  Nearly six years ago in Albany, a 175-pound black bear (in roughly the same neighborhood as the one spotted on Wednesday) was put down after he stayed up in a tree for days.

Upon getting my text from Nixle, I just happened to be on my way home from work and decided to head over to the area where the bear was last spotted.  I really wanted to see it.  Mind you, back in September of 2018 I drove around Yellowstone National Park for 6-8 hours a day just hoping to catch a glimpse of some wildlife I had never seen before, so I have the stamina for this.

As I approached the intersection of South Manning Blvd and Keeler Drive, I saw an Animal Control vehicle patrolling the area and I thought I struck gold.  But the driver didn't seem to be in too much of a hurry and it appeared to me like Animal Control was out for some routine maintenance and not an actual trap and release.

Animal Control did a few loops around the area, then pulled over on the side of the road and just hung there for a few minutes.  By this time it was approaching 3 p.m. and I was getting hungry so I took off and went home.

The DEC has tips to reduce human/bear conflicts here and Albany Police are asking anyone who observes the bear to call 518-438-4000.

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