DIGHTON – Chief Robert MacDonald and the Dighton Police Department are urging residents to take precautions following numerous bear sightings in the area recently.
Dighton Police have received numerous reports of bear sightings throughout the Dighton community in recent days. During these sightings, the bear eventually wandered off and did not harm anyone or have any interaction with people.
Bears and other wild animals, such as bats, turkeys and sick animals can be dangerous and Dighton Police would like to encourage all residents to avoid interacting with them. Residents are urged to immediately contact Animal Control Officer Stacy Ferry via the Dighton Police Department at 774-218-5340 or firstname.lastname@example.org for:
- Any animal that behaves oddly or aggressively
- Human or pet interactions with wild mammals
- A scratch or bite from a wild or domestic animal
“While we’ve had no instances of bears interacting with or harming residents in Dighton yet, out of an abundance of caution we would like to share the following safety tips with residents,” Chief MacDonald said. “Bear sightings do not indicate a threat to public safety as they share the lands with us, but we should all be aware of best practices to take at our homes and businesses in order to safely coexist with wildlife.”
The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife offers several tips for residents regarding black bears in the community.
For anyone who lives in an area with bears, it is best to not set out bird feeders. In general, most bears are denned from mid-December through February. If you choose to put out bird feeders, doing so during this time may decrease the chance of a bear coming to your feeder. In mild winters, some bears may be active year-round. Bring in any feeders at the first sign of bear activity.
Other tips include:
Secure trash: Put trash barrels out the morning of trash pickup, not the previous evening. Store all garbage in closed containers in a garage or outbuilding. Trash should always be placed inside the dumpster, and never left accessible to bears.
Remove other attractants: Always feed pets indoors. Clean greasy barbecues and grills after each use. Do not leave food scraps, grease containers, or spilled grease in your yard.
Protect crops and orchards: Temporary electric fencing may be used to protect corn and other crops. Sevenstrand slanted non-electric fences have been used to keep bears out of orchards.
If contact is made: A bear’s first response to something unusual is to leave. If a bear is feeding in an area where it doesn’t belong, such as your yard, on a porch, or in a dumpster, step outside, yell, and make lots of noise. The bear will usually leave, accompanied by its young. Habituated bears may ignore minor harassment. If you continue to see bears, check your property and remove any potential food sources.
For a “black bears in Massachusetts” fact sheet, click here.