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Black Bears Waking Up in Massachusetts
03:10PM / Thursday, March 07, 2019
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Officials with the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife are warning it's time to take down bird feeders. 
 
Black bears have been spotted in Western Mass, northern Middlesex County and Worcester County. Bears will often ignore natural foods including skunk cabbage in favor of an easy meal at a backyard bird feeder. Other species including wild turkeys and coyotes may also frequent bird feeders leading to a variety of nuisance issues. 
 
To avoid these problems, MassWildlife asks property owners to be proactive by removing bird feeders and other potential food sources including garbage or open compost. If you enjoy watching birds in your yard, MassWildlife suggests adding a water feature, growing native plants, shrubs, and trees to attract birds. 
 
Individuals should also secure bee hives, chickens, and livestock. Properly maintained electric fencing is the only way to protect chickens or bee hives from bears. Taking these actions may prevent the unnatural feeding of bears and other kinds of neighborhood wildlife.
 
There are at least 4,500 black bears in Massachusetts and their range is expanding eastward. Take action by educating yourself and your neighbors about proactive measures to avoid conflicts with bears. Visit Mass.gov/Bears for detailed information and do your part to keep bears wild.
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