Police are urging residents to keep an eye out for a black bear after one was sighted Sunday in Lincoln and again Monday morning in Weston.
The bear was reported in the area of Routes 117 and 126 on Sunday, and officials believe the animal was probably looking for food. Lincoln police asked residents to take down bird feeders and remove other food sources from their yards.
Weston police also received reports Monday morning of a medium-size black bear, over 100 pounds, in the northern part of town, Weston police Lieutenant John Lyons said. It was probably the same bear, he said.
Given the time of year, it is likely that the bear is a young male that has been harassed out of his territory by an older female bear, or sow, and is trying to set up his own territory, said Marion Larson, chief of education and information at the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Bears have been out of hibernation for weeks.
Many cubs learn early on that food can be found in bird feeders, Larson said.
The wildlife agency is aware of bears known to be reproducing in the nearby Pepperell area, Larson said.
Another bear was spotted more than a month ago by a wildlife camera in the Sudbury Valley Trustees’ Memorial Forest. Larson said it is likely that the bear mistook the camera, which was held up by a metal rod, for a bird feeder.
“It’s not uncommon for bears to be sighted,” Larson said. “Certainly, they haven’t been seen much in Lincoln and Sudbury, but we know the bear population is expanding eastward” because of reproduction. The younger bears are searching for land to stake out their own territories, she said, bringing them as far east as Cape Cod.
Though Lincoln police recommended that residents call if they spot the bear, Larson said that is probably not necessary.
“There’s no need to track the bear. Obviously, if the bear gets into an area where it’s causing a traffic concern, then call,” Larson said.
Despite people’s concerns, Larson said people in the eastern part of the state will have to get used to living alongside bears.
“These bears are going to be here, and, like coyotes or skunks or possum or raccoons, they’re here to stay,” Larson said.
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