Raccoons, muskrats, and bears — oh my!

There were sightings in Burlington this spring of a bear (like this black bear in captivity in Maine).
There were sightings in Burlington this spring of a bear (like this black bear in captivity in Maine).AP/Associated Press

Every day, police officers respond to reports of all sorts of events and nonevents, most of which never make the news. Here is a sampling of lesser-known — but no less noteworthy — incidents from police log books (a.k.a. blotters) in our suburbs.


Police departments are used to getting a wide range of calls involving animals. On March 29, Burlington police got a 911 call from a woman who reported seeing “a group of children chasing a bear.” Police were unable to locate either the kids or the bear. But interesting to note: Other bear sightings were reported in that same neighborhood on March 31 and April 2.


Burlington police got another interesting animal call on March 30, when an employee of a liquor store “requested assistance removing a muskrat from the shopping cart area.” The muskrat did not appear to be injured or acting aggressively, so the caller was advised to wait for it to leave on its own.

On April 11, someone called Saugus police to report that kids on Norman Road were “chasing a turkey around with a knife.” Police spoke to the kids, who said they were trying “to keep the turkey away from them,” and the Massachusetts Environmental Police were notified.

On May 20, employees of a company on Industrial Way in Wilmington called police to report that a “territorial raccoon” was not allowing them to use their dumpster. The animal control officer responded and reported that the raccoon was 150 feet up on a cell tower. The officer planned to come back the next day.


On May 19, Stow police received a call about a large turtle trying to cross Great Road. Police responded and escorted the turtle across the roadway.

Calls like that are common around this time of year, because from mid-May to early July turtles are on the move and traveling to their nesting sites, according to the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. “Roadway mortality is a major threat to turtles during the next couple months,” MassWildlife officials wrote on Facebook. “If you can safely stop to help a turtle, move it off the edge of the road in the direction it was heading.” For more information on how to deal with turtles, visit mass.gov/news/why-did-the-turtle-cross-the-road.



At 6:25 p.m. June 12, Stow police were told that someone was flying a drone about 8 feet off the ground in the area of South Acton Road. Police responded and spoke to the operator of the drone, who turned out to be filming a Subaru commercial.


On June 8, the Quincy Police Department’s marine unit was called to help recover some valuable items from the water at Bay Pointe Marina. It turned out that a man had slipped and fallen into the water at the marina, and his prosthetic leg and cellphone sank about 15 feet below the surface. Police used a remotely operated vehicle, known as an ROV, to locate the man’s prosthetic leg (which is valued at $80,000) and cellphone. Both the leg and the cellphone were successfully recovered.


At 9:08 a.m. May 30, Marblehead police got a call from a woman who saw a driver “slumped over the wheel” of a black Nissan Maxima at the intersection of Green Street and Lincoln Avenue. The responding officer reported that the driver was actually fine, and “he is awake playing a game on his phone.”


Emily Sweeney can be reached at esweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.