Residents were shocked when a bear hung out for hours near a Hudson Valley park, Little League fields and a golf course.

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Michael Penner reached out to Hudson Valley Post to share a photo he took of a bear in the City of Poughkeepsie.

Penner and his family purchased their first home about a month ago on Wantaugh Ave in Poughkeepsie. The home runs parallel with Wilbur Ave and Spratt Park is the family's new backyard.

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Near Spratt Park you'll find the Spratt Park Pool, Spratt Park Sports Field, McCann Memorial Golf Course and J Tracy Hermann Memorial Dog Park, according to Google Maps.

Penner told Hudson Valley Post the bear stopped by to visit the Penner family. The bear climbed up a tree and hung out in the tree near the family's home and Spratt Park for about three hours, according to Penner.

Eventually, the bear climbed down the tree and took a stroll towards the Little League Fields and golf course, Penner adds.

"Literally, we have a bear in the City of Poughkeepsie," Penner told Hudson Valley Post in an email.

Penner says police were called and told them officers received a number of calls about the bear. Penner adds the DEC wouldn't come to the area but advised to not let kids or pets out in the Penner yard.

The DEC recommends keeping birdseed inside to avoid conflicts with bears. When bears have access to human foods, it encourages behaviors that can put bears at risk. While bears can be intimidating, they generally try to avoid getting into conflicts with people, officials say.

The DEC released the following steps to avoid conflicts with bears:

Around Dwellings

    • Remove all bird feeders;
    • Keep garbage, grills, pet food, and bird seed inside a solid, secure structure (house, shed, garage, etc.);
    • If grills cannot be secured, move grills away from houses and remove grease traps after each use;
    • Put garbage on the curb the morning of collection, not the night before, and use bear-resistant trash containers; and
    • Close garage doors and ground-floor windows/doors at night.

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