Contributed Photo by Arlyn Milk
This blond bear visited a family picnic at the Pleasant Valley Rod & Gun Club in Callicoon during the Memorial Day Weekend. He died three days later crossing Route 17.
Story by Fred Stabbert III
CALLICOON August 27, 2013 A blond bear who had a hankering for rhubarb pie and picnics was killed earlier this summer while crossing Route 17 in Parksville.
New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Bear Biologist Carl Lindsley said it was the first time in his 44 years of field work that he had run across such a bear.
“I guess you could say it is rare,” Lindsley said. “In my 44 years I’ve never seen one or even heard of one on the East Coast.”
The “Blond” bear is just a color phase of a bear, much like a black squirrel, Lindsley said.
“It is actually called Lunistic,” Lindsley said.
Lindsley estimated the bear to weigh about 125 pounds and the bruin’s age to be two-and-a-half years old.
The blond bear’s sighting came at the Pleasant Valley Rod & Gun Club in Callicoon when Shane Kinney and Arlin Milk were enjoying a Memorial Day barbecue with their families.
The duo said they were picnicking by the pond when they heard something nearby.
They looked again and it was a bear enjoying one of the pies they had brought along.
“We got our families in the cabin and Shane and I tried to scare the bear away,” Milk said.
It took nearly an hour and the donation of some more food before Kinney and Milk were finally successful in getting the blond bear to move on.
About two or three days later Lindsley believes it was the same bear which was hit in Parksville, a distance of about 20 miles as the crow flies.
“It’s really unlikely to find one. Very, very odd. Too bad it got hit. I’ve never, ever heard of one in New York,” Lindsley said.