Southwick Police update on black bear sightings

Image Courtesy: Cindy Hoyt via Report It

SOUTHWICK, Mass. (The Westfield News) – Believe it or not, spring has sprung and summer is almost here meaning certain animals are making their way out of hibernation and out into the public.

On May 25, the Southwick Police Department released a notice that they had been receiving calls regularly about black bear sightings in Southwick.

Southwick police dealing with daily bear sightings

“This time of year we always get calls on black bears,” said Southwick Police Chief David Ricardi.

According to the the release, the black bear population has significantly increased in the past four or five years. The Southwick Police went on to say that they certainly won’t tell anyone that the black bears are harmless, but more times than not, the animals are looking for food rather than trying to put humans in danger.

While any bear can be dangerous if they feel startled or threatened, the police urge people to stay away from a female bear with cubs as they can become very protective and aggressive.

Ricardi said that the public notice is centered on keeping residents aware and safe.

“We advise people to stay away from them,” said Ricardi. “Don’t get too close to them, safety is paramount.”

When around your home, Ricardi said that completing simple housekeeping tasks can go a long way, including keeping trash closed and not exposed, and to keep your birdfeeder(s) secure.

“Once they find the food source, they’re going back to it,” said Ricardi.

If someone is in danger in result of a black bear or feels threatened, call Southwick police at 413-569-5348 or dial 911 if it’s an emergency.