Bear strolls downtown Westfield

Two black bears caught on camera in Granville, Ma. Monday, June 2, 2014 11PM. Photo by David Pulaski

WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – Despite the efforts of city and state police officers, a black bear seen roaming the downtown section of the city Tuesday morning has been able to elude officers and remains at large.

Note: File photo above is from Granville, Mass.

A caller reported seeing a black bear strolling on Arnold Street at 5:19 a.m. moving toward School Street and officer Francis Gaulin spotted the bear three minutes later in a tree behind the former courthouse on the corner of School and Washington streets.

A city dispatcher notified environmental police but Gaulin reported at 5:38 a.m. that the bear, which he said was a young black bear about a year old, had descended the tree and was walking toward Franklin Street. He last reported the bear to be in the area of Littles Court and Madison Street but officers then lost sight of the bear for a little more than a half hour until an officer received a call from her mother reporting that the bear was in a Charles Street backyard.

The city’s animal control officer, Kerri Francis, was notified and reports she responded to Charles Street but did not find the animal which she said was last seen on Jefferson Street. Francis, when asked if the bear’s activity was unusual, said “yes and no.” She said that the bear was hungry and “was just hanging out in somebody’s backyard eating birdseed.” She said that the responding environmental police officer was also unable to find the bear. Police and animal control authorities routinely advise that bird feeders be removed in the spring and any other time when bears are reported to be active because they are attractive to bears which may be hungry after a long winters nap.

Media Credit: The Westfield News

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