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Bear strolls into Ludlow before Memorial Day Parade

Ludlow’s Memorial Day Parade almost had an unregistered participant when a black bear wandered into town.

Police got a call about 7:40 a.m. reporting that a bear was heading along Winsor Street toward the post office, said Sergeant Frank Nowak in a phone interview Monday evening. The parade was set to begin at 9 a.m. in the downtown area and started as planned, he said.

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The 200-pound young black bear appeared to have an injured foot, according to the police officer monitoring it. Environmental police were notified about 9 a.m., but the bear walked into a wooded area behind a mill 20 minutes later and disappeared.

Bears are occasionally seen in the Western Massachusetts town, Nowak said. One recently destroyed a shed, but “they are not running rampant,” he said.

If a bear does come into town and appears to be causing havoc, police will usually “create loud noises and hope it goes away,” Nowak said.

The bear was walking near the end of the parade route and did not damage any property or alarm locals, police said. Officers monitored its movements until it left the area. “Maybe he thought the parade was going to be bigger, and then changed his mind,” Nowak said.

Jennifer Smith can be reached at jennifer.smith@globe.com
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