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The presence of a bear is not an immediate public safety threat. In most instances, a bear is simply seeking the most accessible and nutritious food source available which is most often bird seed, garbage, compost or unsecured chickens, rabbits or livestock. The only way to prevent repeat visits is to remove or properly secure all sources of food. Bears that learn to feed at bird feeders, raid chicken coops, rabbit hutches and bee hives, rummage through trash and compost or attack livestock will repeat this behavior. If these foods are available, bears will continue to spend time in neighborhoods, back yards and farms increasing the likelihood of adverse encounters. Everyone needs to do their part to keep bears wild and out of trouble by taking preventive and responsible actions.
Visit our bear web pages at www.mass.gov/bears or contact MassWildlife’s Field Headquarters at (508) 389-6359 for assistance with electric fencing, securing livestock or other information.