Officials: Mating season may be factor in recent bear sightings


(Courtesy of Burrillville Animal Control)

BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (WPRI) — Another black bear has been spotted in Rhode Island, one of several sightings in recent weeks.

Burrillville Animal Control posted photos on their Facebook page Thursday of a black bear roaming near the roadway.

Bear mating season has begun, and Burrillville Animal Control said male bears may be traveling in search of mates, so sightings could become more common.

Photos courtesy: Burrillville Animal Control

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is encouraging everyone to take down their bird feeders and put them back up later in the summer.

Here is a list of tips from the RI DEM to prevent bears from wandering into your yard:

  • Remove bird feeders by early April and waiting until early November to put them up back up.  
  • Refrain from feeding pets outside, or if you do, taking pet food dishes inside at night.
  • Store birdseed, livestock feed and garbage in buildings.
  • Take garbage out for pickup on the morning of the collection – not the night before.
  • Keep barbecue grills clean of grease. Do not put meat or sweet food scraps in your compost pile.
  • Use electric fencing around chicken coops, beehives, rabbit hutches, and livestock pens.
  • Move livestock into barns at night.
  • Above all, DO NOT FEED BEARS. These are wild animals. An adult male typically weighs between 150 and 450 pounds, while females generally weigh between 100 and 250 pounds.

“Normally a black bear will not be a threat, but a bear that becomes habituated to being in close proximity to humans and sees homes as a food source has an increased risk of posing a danger to pets and people.” said the Facebook post.

There is a lot of commotion on Facebook regarding a black bear roaming through town this morning. First, there is no…

Posted by Burrillville Animal Control on Thursday, June 13, 2019

There have been several bear sightings across the state in recent months, including one wandering through a Cranston neighborhood Tuesday. Another was seen on the porch of a home in Warwick on Sunday.

Last month, a woman had a close encounter with a bear in Narragansett. Another hungry bear was seen rummaging through a Johnston family’s garden back in April.

Anyone who sees a bear is asked to report the sighting to the DEM’s Law Enforcement Division immediately at (401)-222-3070.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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