BEARS! Use Caution on The Rail Trail this Summer says Chief Palma
Groton Police Chief Donald Palma advises residents to use extra caution on the Rail Trail as well as in areas off the trail as there is evidence of increased black bear activity in town. Last year at this time bears moved from the trail into residential neighborhoods like Court Street where they casually stroll into back and side yards. The bears are attracted by bird feeders, trash cans, and occasionally will steal a choice tidbit from a grill.
This year, there have been numerous sightings in various neighborhoods in Groton, as well as in the neighboring towns of Westford and Littleton.
The Chief is asking residents to report sightings and locations to the Police Dept. so that officers can track their direction and ensure public safety. He also advises residents not to let their pets, especially dogs out without a leash starting at dusk.
"These are wild animals and are a source of danger to people and pets. Do not try to get close to take a picture." Bears generally do not want a confrontation and making noise by clapping hands or talking may send the bear back into the woods.
The Commonwealth of Mass. Environmental Affairs website recommends to residents to not deliberately feed bears to attract them to their property. Bears which become accustomed to humans and dependent on human-associated foods are likely to cause property damage and become a nuisance. The bear is then placed in jeopardy if you or your neighbors become afraid of it or seek to protect their property.
They suggest that residents remove or secure all food sources that are within easy reach. Not only should residents take down bird feeders-especially those containing suet or sunflower seed- but to also clean up any spilled seed. Be sure that all pet foods are consumed at a single feeding and not left outside in the dish. Do not leave pet food or dirty dishes outside at night.