Late fall saw a spike in bear sightings in western Massachusetts

Chicobi, Mass. (WWLP) – Bear sightings have increased throughout the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts. Views have reportedly risen in recent decades.

Indeed, over the past 30 years, there has been an increase in the number of bears in our area. This is actually a good sign because it shows that these animals have a wonderful habitat to live in and thrive in. What is not good, is when they interact with humans.

This past summer and spring, NEWS10’s sister station in Springfield received numerous photos and videos of bears in neighborhoods across the area. Many bears find food sources in people’s backyards, at bird feeders, or in litter boxes. The best way to avoid this is to keep litter boxes indoors or tightly closed, and no bird feeders available.

According to Patti Steinman of Mass Audubon Arcadia Wildlife, “The bear is not truly hibernating, which means that on warm days they may be outside foraging. When the days are sometimes warmer with climate change, we actually see the bear foraging.”

Thursday, we’ll have a mild day across the region with temperatures in the 60s for many locations. This warmer than average weather will allow the bears to get outside and find more food. This is why it is important to bring bird feeders and bring the litter, until litter day comes.

As we approach the winter months, we will notice fewer and fewer bear sightings throughout the region.

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