CONCORD — Following multiple black bear sightings in town today, Chief Joseph O’Connor and the Concord Police Department would like to remind residents of several key safety tips regarding bears.
Just before noon, a resident called 911 after seeing a black bear searching through a trash can on Eaton Street, which abuts the White Pond conservation land. The bear eventually returned the woods.
Then, around 2 p.m., a bear was spotted in Conantum neighborhood walking through a yard on Oxbow Road. Again, the bear returned to the woods.
“The mere presence of a bear in town is a not a threat to your safety,” Chief O’Connor said. “Stay calm and avoid doing anything that may attract the animal to your yard. Residents should also call police immediately to report the sighting. We ask all residents to please review the safety tips below.”
Concord Police notified community members of today’s sighting via the town’s Code Red alert system. Additionally, if a resident sees a bear is seen in town:
• Leave the bear alone.
• 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.
To prevent bears from entering your yard, citizens should follow tips from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife:
Avoid filling bird feeders:
Bears that find a bird feeder will often revisit that site, month after month, year after year. Bird feeders, bird seed, corn and other bird foods can draw bears into closer proximity to people and often result in bears losing their fear of people.
If you see a bear in your yard:
Make noise by banging pots and pans, shouting, or using an air horn to try to scare the bear off. Once the bear has left the area, take a close look at your yard for potential bear food sources such as bird feeders, pet food, dirty barbecue grills, open compost, or trash and remove the food sources immediately.
If you come face to face with a bear:
Remain calm, talk to the bear in a calm voice (try ‘hey bear, hey bear”) and slowly back away and leave the area. If a bear approaches or follows you, make yourself look bigger by putting your arms above your head. Continue to repeat “hey bear” in a calm voice and back away and leave the area while monitoring the bear.
For additional information, visit mass.gov/bears