The bears are back! Sightings increase across WMass as hibernation ends

Be sure to keep potential food out of your yard

This photo was taken Saturday March 28, 2015 on Gargon Ter. by Austin Brooks. The bear tore down the bird feeder and gobbled it all up.

SOUTHWICK, Mass. (WWLP) – More and more people are seeing black bears waking up from hibernation. As the weather warms up, black bear sightings have become increasingly common, particularly in rural areas of western Massachusetts. The bears are waking up from their winter slumber, and they are hungry!

Southwick Animal Control Officer Tracy Root told 22News that she has seen many local bear photos on social media. Most recently, a 17-year-old sent in a picture of a bear in his backyard on Gargon Terrace.

The bear was drawn to a bird feeder, and ended up tearing it down.

“It has been an extremely hard winter for these guys. They are waking up extremely hungry and they are looking for anything to eat, which is trash, bird food.  Bring your bird feeders in, we’ve got grass now, the birds can feed themselves,” Root said.

Root said that if you encounter a bear in your yard, leave it alone and stay inside. Do not get too close, or try to scare it away.

Keep in mind that bears are a lot faster than you think they might be. Some bears can run at speeds of 30 miles per hour, and can climb a tree in seconds.

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