Truth sought in posting about bear cub shooting

By SUSAN WADE
Posted 7/14/20

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Recently a member of the “Living in Barryville” Facebook community posted a report that a bear cub had been shot by homeowners in Liberty. The posting was …

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Truth sought in posting about bear cub shooting

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Recently a member of the “Living in Barryville” Facebook community posted a report that a bear cub had been shot by homeowners in Liberty. The posting was accompanied by a disturbing photo of a bear cub, outdoors, surrounded in blood. The posting alleged that the homeowners had claimed the cub was in their home trying to attack a two-year-old child. It further said that the poster had been told by one of their good friends that the homeowners have garbage lying around. The photo also showed the uniformed trouser leg of someone assumed to be a member of law enforcement. 

This posting was met with the ire of more than 50 commenters before the post was removed. The story was indeed distressing. However, it was found not to be accurate. 

In keeping with the recent concern expressed by the River Reporter editorial staff and countless other citizens regarding the disregard of the truth at the expense of sensationalism in all types of media, including social media, the newspaper sought to find the truth behind this disturbing post. 

The New York State Police Liberty barracks and the Sullivan County Sheriffs Office in Monticello were contacted. Undersheriff and public relations officer Eric Shaboty stated that such a matter would be addressed by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s New Paltz office. In reaching out to the DEC, Wendy Rosenbach, also a Public Information Officer, promised to look into the incident. After a few days, she reported that the DEC had indeed investigated an incident in the Liberty area but that “the case is now closed and no tickets were issued because the homeowner acted appropriately. The bear in question was an adult bear, not a cub. 

The DEC frequently reminds the public that the intentional feeding of black bears is illegal and creates human-bear conflicts. Incidental, indirect feeding of black bears is also unlawful after a written warning has been issued by the DEC. 

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