WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Some 22News viewers shared some photos of recent wildlife that they have spotted in Westfield.
Cindy and Tom Drewski of Westfield sent photos of two bears and two foxes that they spotted recently at Eastwood Acres in Westfield.
The red fox and the gray fox, two distinct species, are both common and abundant in Massachusetts, according to Mass.gov. Both of the species can be found throughout the state, except on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, and they belong to the dog family Canidae, and their appearance is similar to that of domestic dogs and coyotes.
Foxes can live close to humans in suburban and urban areas because they require only a source of food, water, and cover. Secure your garbage in plastic containers with tight-fitting lids and keep it in secure buildings when possible. Foxes will use areas underneath porches and sheds to rest and raise their young. Close off these areas to prevent animals from using them.
According to Mass.gov, there are 4,500 black bears, across the Commonwealth, making it not uncommon to see one walking through your yard. Black bears become more active and are searching for food during springtime in western Massachusetts.
According to the National Park Service, if you see a bear you should do the following:
- Remain watchful
- Do not approach it
- Do not allow the bear to approach you
- If the bear is at a distance, feeding or walking by, and notices you but continues its natural behavior, no action is needed on your part. Proceed while continuing to observe the bear.
- If your presence causes the bear to change its behavior (stops feeding, changes its travel direction, watches you, etc.) you are too close.
- Being too close may promote aggressive behavior from the bear such as running toward you, making loud noises, or swatting the ground. The bear is demanding more space. Don’t run, but slowly back away, watching the bear. Increase the distance between you and the bear. The bear will probably do the same.
WWLP-22News, an NBC affiliate, began broadcasting in 1953 by providing local news, network, syndicated, and local programming to western Massachusetts. Follow 22News on X @WWLP22News, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.