A black bear’s been on the move in Wilmington, Massachusetts, the last few days.
“Unexpected,” said Eric Pelletier, who snapped a photo as he left his apartment complex on West Street this weekend.
“Took a left down the driveway,” he said. “I was a little startled, I saw the bear crossing the path.”
At summer camp Monday, 12-year-old Jackson Gardner saw the bear on the field outside the elementary school on Woburn Street.
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“The bear was just chillaxing,” he said. “Then I screamed, ‘BEAR, BEAR’, and all the counselors brought us inside.”
There have been several sightings across town, including the area of the Interstate 93 overpass on Saturday morning.
Police posted a photo Monday after the bear was spotted near Federal, Concord and Woburn streets.
Residents are being asked to bring in their bird feeders and trash barrels to limit possible sources of food so that the bear will move on.
“Males typically move very large distances during the mating season trying to interact with as many females as possible,” said Dave Wattles, black bear biologist for the state.
He says this is likely the same bear that’s been spotted in several communities over the last two weeks, including sightings in Tewksbury, Woburn, Lowell and Billerica.
Wattles says this is just outside the typical bear range in Massachusetts.
“Those young bears can’t compete with the larger, established males in our range so they’re trying to find new territory for themselves where they can become the dominant male and can find mates and reproduce,” said Wattles.
Police and animal control will likely leave the bear alone and let it move on unless it gets trapped in a very commercial area in which case they would then take action and relocate it.