CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The black bear spotted wandering in a Cranston school’s parking lot Monday morning is on the move.
An Eyewitness News viewer sent in photos of the bear walking up a driveway on Pippin Orchard Road Tuesday morning.
Students at Hope Highlands Middle School in Cranston had to stay inside Monday after a bear was seen wandering around on school grounds. School officials said they issued a “shelter in place” out of an abundance of caution.
There have been several bear sightings across the state in recent months, including 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.
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.
“If you live in rural parts of Kent, Washington, Providence County, this is the new reality,” Wildlife Biologist Charlie Brown said. “We’re at that point now where bears are becoming established here.”
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.
Anyone who sees a bear is asked to report the sighting to the DEM’s Law Enforcement Division immediately at (401)-222-3070.