Town News

Posted on: June 16, 2017

Black Bear In Your Area

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Black Bear In Your Area

To: Framingham Area Municipal Police Departments

From: Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

Date: June 16, 2017

This week a young 1 ½- 2 ½ year old bear has been repeatedly spotted in Southborough, Hopkinton, and Framingham.


MassWildlife is taking this opportunity to alert area municipalities that black bears are expanding their range into eastern Massachusetts including the Rte. I- 495 corridor. Based on our experience in working with other communities, we are sending this information to your department to help you respond to future bear reports and sightings in your town.


In our years of experience, 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 most important message to convey to your staff, the public, and the media: The presence of a bear is not an immediate public safety threat. 


When a Bear is Reported in Your Community


  • Leave the bear alone and advise callers to do the same.
  • Keep people far 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 bolting 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 During business hours contact the Central District Office at 508MassWildlife Field Headquarters at (508)-389-6322 to report sightings and get advice. If you need advice before/after normal business hours, on weekends, or holidays, contact the Environmental Police Radio Room at 1-800-632-8075.
  • If a bear is in a situation that may be causing a public safety threat, contact MassWildlife or the Environmental Police. The presence of a bear in a densely populated area is not necessarily an immediate public safety threat. The Environmental Police or MassWildlife will provide advice and determine if deploying the Large Animal Response Team (LART) is necessary. LART consists of MassWildlife biologists and Environmental Police Officers with specific training in chemical immobilization of large animals. Decisions on appropriate response in these situations are governed by a standard protocol that addresses public safety threats. In most cases, bears in residential areas do not require a LART response and will leave the area on their own.

ADVICE FOR CITIZENS

Urge citizens and food-related businesses to remove all food sources (bird feeders, trash, open compost, pet food, open dumpsters) and visit our bear web pages at www.mass.gov/bears or contact MassWildlife’s Field Headquarters at (508) 389-6359 for more information.

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