bear

Black Bear Continues Journey Across South Shore of Mass.

A bear has been spotted in the Massachusetts communities of Attleboro, Norfolk, Taunton, Scituate and Cohasset

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A black bear that has been spotted in several communities on the South Shore of Massachusetts has now made its way to Cohasset.

It was seen Tuesday afternoon on trails in the Whitney Woods near the Wompatuck State Park.

"I have heard about the bear and I think it's kind of whimsical and lovely, and I hope he's safe," said Jill Clemmer, who was hiking with her dogs in the park Tuesday.

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Amateur photographer Michael Snow says he'd been tracking the bear for two weeks and snapped photos of it in the Cohasset woods on Tuesday.

Wildlife experts say it's rare for a bear to make its way this far south.

"We're fairly confident this is the same bear that's wandered through from Attleboro, Norfolk, Taunton, and finally all the way out to the coast," said black bear biologist Dave Wattles with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

Wattles says the bear is likely a 2-year-old male that's looking for territory of its own.

People are urged to leave it alone, as it's probably already stressed from wandering in unfamiliar land.

"The last thing we want people to do is to try to find the bear to try to get closer so they can get a picture or a selfie," said Wattles.

As the bear population grows in the western and northern parts of the state, it's becoming more common for them to make their way east of Interstate 495 and as far as Route 128.

It won't keep Karin Brown and her Great Dane from their daily hikes at the Wompatuck park.

"We've spotted coyotes before, and the second they lay eyes on him, they run the other way," said Brown. "Not that we would confront a bear."

There are about 4,500 black bears in Massachusetts, according to the state.

They're always looking for food, so wildlife experts urge people to remove bird feeders, trash and pet food from the outside of their property to keep the bears away and so they don't become accustomed to finding food in residential neighborhoods.

This page on Massachusetts' state website has basic information about bears, and another page provides information on what to do and what not to do if a bear is spotted in your area.

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