Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard is warning motorists to be on the lookout for wildlife, particularly bears, on local roads .
The sheriff’s advisory was prompted by a recent motor vehicle accident involving a bear at 10 a.m. Wednesday on South Cascade Drive in Springville.
“In the past week, my deputies responded to a call involving a motorist striking a bear,” Howard said in a prepared statement Friday.
“This incident along with the bear [sightings] in Alden, Lancaster and West Seneca indicate a growing bear population and an increased chance of some kind of interaction and I want everyone to remain safe,” he added.
Howard said any accident involving wildlife such as deer or bears is bound to be a serious event and advised motorists involved in such collisions to follow County Sheriff Traffic Bureau Guidelines. They include recommendations for motorists to check themselves and any passengers for injuries in the event of a collision with wildlife, to call 911 and to stay inside their vehicle unless it catches fire.
Motorists are also warned to avoid approaching any animal they may have struck for any reason and to wait for law enforcement to arrive before checking on the condition of the animal.
“Remember that these are wild animals that are not accustom to human contact or proximity. Its first reaction is to defend itself, especially when injured.” Howard said.