|North Adams Police Warn Of Bears In Residential Areas|
|By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff|
04:25PM / Monday, July 16, 2012
|This bear was spotted in Williamstown and sent to us by one of our Facebook friends. The ursine natives have searching residential areas in North County for food.|
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police are asking residents to bring their bird feeders inside and make sure trash is sealed because there are at least three bears across the city scouring for food.
||The local black bear population is having a field day in North Adams. Our readers have sent or posted pictures of bears acting badly to us. Top, looking for treasures in a trash bin off State Street; left, picking the neighbor's trash apart on Furnace Street.
According to Police Director Michael Cozzaglio, the tame winter has caused a larger problem with bears going into densely populated areas searching for food. Currently, police are getting multiple calls to scare away at least three bears in various parts of the city.
"The bears didn't really hibernate... they pretty much wiped out their food source," Cozzaglio said, adding that the lack of rain also has reduced the crop yields that the bears eat in the woods. "They're just having a feast on bird feeders, trash and Dumpsters."
The animals, ranging from 100 to 150 pounds, have been seen in the Massachusetts Avenue and Notch Road area; around Kemp Avenue and into the Windsor Lake park and campground; and in the State Street and Walnut Street vicinity, Cozzaglio said.
"We try to scare them away. We want to keep them away from the homes," he said, adding that police responded to four calls this last weekend for bear sightings. "It's just a problem. It's a big problem."
Police are asking residents to bring their bird feeders inside and seal up trash properly. If bears are sighted, residents should move away from them. Cozzaglio said that in one instance, people were trying to pet the animal.
"Take the food away and it'll get rid of the bears," Cozzaglio said. "This is a wild animal... Stay away from them."
While the bears have mostly been sighted around trash cans and in backyards, there have been reports of bears climbing onto residents' decks as high as the second floor to get at bird feeders.
There have been no injuries from these encounters but police did have to shoot a bear in June because it continually came into residential areas off Eagle Street.
"We tried for days to keep it out but it just got too comfortable... we, regrettably, had to do that," Cozzaglio said.
Removing the food will help for the bears' safety as well, he said, because if they cannot get a food in the residential areas they will eventually retreat to the woods — especially if a rain storm helps wild fruits grow.
In Williamstown, Police Chief Kyle Johnson said that they, too, have received calls about bears but those calls are "mostly as an FYI from the caller."
"There has been nothing of significance so far this spring," he said via email on Monday.