Chief Joseph O’Connor and the Concord Police Department are seeking to remind residents of key safety tips after a black bear was sighted by a resident on Tuesday.
Early this morning, a Lowell Road resident notified Concord Police that they had seen a small black bear, likely a juvenile, walking in their back yard. The bear eventually wandered off and did not harm anyone or have any interaction with people.
“Black bears, as we know, are a part of life in Massachusetts. A sighting does not indicate a threat to public safety, but we should all be aware of best practices to take at our homes and businesses in order to coexist with wildlife,” Chief O’Connor said. “I would ask all residents to review the safety tips below and do your best to adhere to them.”
If a resident sees a bear in town:
• Leave the bear alone. Do not approach, feed, interact with, or in any way engage with a bear.
• Do not try to follow or track the bear.
Bears, especially black bears, generally avoid people. If you chase a black bear, it may find its way into traffic or into a group of bystanders, creating a serious risk to the bear and public safety. Bears often climb trees to avoid people and will come down on their own when they are ready.
If you would like to minimize the likelihood that a bear will enter your yard or linger in your yard, please review these 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.
• For those people who enjoy birds in their yard, MassWildlife suggests growing native plants, shrubs, and trees to attract birds. Adding a water feature is a big draw for birds. Taking these actions may increase the diversity of birds you see and will prevent the unnatural feeding of bears and other kinds of neighborhood wildlife.
• Bring empty bird feeders inside, as even empty ones may have a lingering scent that may draw a bear
• 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.
• Never leave pet food stores outside
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