Recent sightings of a bear in the Acton/Sudbury/Concord area have garnered public and media attention. Black bears are expanding their range into eastern Massachusetts and we have found that communities unfamiliar with bears will face excitement, concern, and questions from citizens, media, and municipal officials when a bear is seen in town. The presence of a bear is not a public safety threat.
WHEN A BEAR IS SEEN:
- Leave the bear alone.
- Keep people away and do not try to follow or track the bear.
- Pursuit not only stresses the animal, but adds the risk of having a bear chased out into traffic or a group of bystanders. Bears will often climb a tree to avoid people; leave the bear alone and it will come down when it feels comfortable doing so. In most situations, the animal will find its way back into the forest if given the chance.
- Contact MassWildlife
- If a bear is in a situation that is causing a public safety threat, contact MassWildlife or the Environmental Police. The presence of a bear in a densely populated area is NOT a public safety threat.The Environmental Police or MassWildlife will provide advice and determine if a response from the Large Animal Response Team (LART) is necessary.
- Remove all food sources (bird feeders, trash, open compost, pet food) and visit our bear web pages at www.mass.gov/bears or contact MassWildlife’s Northeast District Office – Ayer at (978) 772-2145 or MassWildlife Field Headquarters at (508) 389-6322 for more information.