When an Orleans man set up his infrared camera this weekend to try to capture footage of the infamous black bear wandering around Cape Cod, he didn’t think anything would actually come of it.
But at about 3:30 a.m. on Friday, Terry Thalman’s video camera captured footage of the bear ambling through his yard.
Thalman said he decided to set up the camera in the spacious backyard of his neighbor after hearing the bear was visiting town.
“I set it up as a fluke, knowing the bear was in Orleans,” Thalman, 74, said Sunday.
But when Thalman woke up the next morning and saw that limbs on his nectarine tree had been broken, he knew it wasn’t done by raccoons.
That’s when he uploaded the camera footage to his computer and saw that he’d captured a short video of the bear padding along.
“We were all pretty amazed and surprised,” Thalman said.
Thalman said he often sets up his infrared camera so his grandchildren can later watch the wildlife living in the backyard.
He said that Cape Cod is a nature sanctuary and that residents share the land with rabbits, foxes, and coyotes.
“I hope the bear is well-protected, and hopefully they can find him and tranquilize him and send him back to the Berkshires,” Thalman said.
The bear was first spotted in Barnstable the previous weekend, walking freely through residents’ backyards, local police said. Since then, the beer has been spotted in several other towns, including Brewster, Dennis, and Yarmouth.
At the end of last week, the black bear, which is thought to have roamed in much of Southeastern Massachusetts last summer, had been spotted at least 14 times, the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife said.
State officials say the bear probably swam across the Cape Cod Canal.