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    Bear sightings in 3 Massachusetts communities

    The bears are back in town. Just Tuesday morning, residents in three Bay State communities reported sightings.

    In Charlton, police responded to reports of a “huge black bear” rambling through backyards along South Charlton Shore Road, a police dispatcher said.

    By the time police responded to the call just before 6:45 a.m., the bear had fled into the woods toward Daniels Road.

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    Later, State Police and Environmental Police responded to reports of a black bear several miles away on Interstate 84 East at Exit 3B in Sturbridge. Police monitored the bear before shooing it into the woods around 9 a.m., State
    Police said. Then, about 15 miles away in Webster, a 400-pound black bear was reported roaming through neighborhoods near the French River just after 9:30 a.m. Police Chief Timothy Bent said it was the first time, to his knowledge, Webster police had confirmed reports of a bear.

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    Officers kept the bear, which was wandering through woods along a thickly settled neighborhood on North Main Street and Pearl Street, contained and shooed it back toward the river before Environmental Police arrived on the scene, Bent said.

    It was not immediately clear whether the events were related, though the first two sightings were a considerable distance from Webster, said Marion Larson, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife.

    The bears spotted were probably younger males, kicked out of the den by mothers looking to mate. The young males are roaming to set up their own territories, Larson said.

    At this time last year, a bear seen on Cape Cod wandered into Brookline, prompting officials to capture and release the bear in Western Massachusetts.

    Lauren Dezenski can be reached at lauren.dezenski@
    globe.com
    . Follow her on Twitter @LaurenDezenski.