Bear sighting in Chicopee backyard

Bears out of hibernation, may be looking for food

Image sent to 22News by Marc Mastalerz via Report It

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The weather is getting warmer, and that means that bears are out of hibernation. Black bear sightings are likely to increase over the coming months, as the animals move through neighborhoods looking for food.

22News viewer Mark Mastalerz sent 22News two pictures of a mother bear and two cubs in his backyard, near the Lombard Road area.

22News went to Thomas J O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center in Springfield to find out ways to protect yourself and your family from these bears.

“Try not to feed wildlife, as tempting as it might seem, to feed the birds. That attracts other wildlife including, bears. If you have trash outside you want to keep it locked up, if your feeding animals, be careful who you’re feeding. You’re always feeding someone else,” animal control supervisor Hannah Orenstein said.

Orenstein went on to tell 22News that if you see wildlife, let it be wild! Leave the animal alone and give it plenty of room.

If you have pets, feed them indoors, bears could be attracted to pet food left outside. You should also always clean your barbecue grill after you use it.

For more information on bears in Massachusetts, and what to do if you encounter one, visit MassWildlife’s website.

Image sent to 22News by Marc Mastalerz via Report It