SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Residents of Springfield’s Sixteen Acres neighborhood were surprised to find a bear roaming through their neighborhood Thursday morning.
The black bear was seen walking through yards on Venture Drive and Macomber Avenue, side streets off Wilbraham Road. 22News viewer DJ Livieratos took video of the bear as it moved through his neighborhood.
According to Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney, the bear was also seen farther southeast, along Forest Hills Road, Zephyr Lane, and Parker Street in East Longmeadow. Sightings were also reported to the northeast on Sunrise Terrace and Timothy Circle.
Recess at the Sabis International Charter School had been cancelled due to the bear sightings.
Laura Spaulding of Springfield told 22News she was quite surprised when she found the bear in her backyard, especially because she has never seen one in Springfield before.
“My boyfriend went out, and he came running back in and told me there was a bear outside, and I was like, ‘no way!’ So I came running out, and there was a bear in the backyard!” Spaulding said.
Black bear sightings are becoming more common in residential neighborhoods, as the animals have emerged from hibernation. A mother bear and her two cubs were seen earlier this week looking for food in the Lombard Road area in Chicopee. In Easthampton, a bear climbed up to a second-floor porch in an attempt to reach some birdfeeders.
Delaney says that residents should not approach the bear, and to discourage it from visiting your property, you should keep all your trash secure. He pointed out that the bear is not aggressive, it’s just looking for food. Delaney said that the Environmental Police do not plan on tranquilizing the bear; they will simply try to lead it back into the woods.