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The original item was published from 10/31/2023 3:02:00 PM to 11/4/2023 12:00:03 AM.

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Police Department

Posted on: October 31, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Whitman Police Warn Community of Bear Sighting Ahead of Trick-or-Treating, Share Safety Tips

black bear sighting

WHITMAN – Chief Timothy Hanlon and the Whitman Police Department would like to warn community members of a bear sighting ahead of trick-or-treating hours tonight.

At 11:45 a.m. today, Whitman Police received a report stating that a black bear was spotted in the area of Commercial Street between Linden Street and Dyer Avenue. While responding to the area, a Whitman Police Officer also reported seeing the bear. The bear was also spotted in Whitman earlier in the month. 

To date, there has been no contact or dangerous interactions between humans or household pets and the bear. Out of an abundance of caution, the Whitman Police Department will have an additional police presence throughout the evening to ensure everyone's safety during trick-or-treating hours.

"Over the past several weeks, the Whitman Police Department has received reports of bear sightings throughout town, however, none of the reports we received stated that there has been contact between humans or pets and bears," Chief Hanlon said. "Out of an abundance of caution and with community members participating in trick-or-treating tonight, we will have an additional police presence throughout town to ensure everyone's safety. As always, if you do see a bear avoid any contact with it."

The following tips are courtesy of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife:

  • Residents are reminded that if a bear is sighted in town, leave the animal alone. In most situations, if left alone, the bear will return to the forest on its own.
  • Stay away from the bear and tell others to do the same. Often a bear will climb a tree to avoid people. A gathering of people not only stresses the animal, but it adds the risk of having a bear chased out into traffic or into a group of bystanders.
  • Never intentionally feed bears.
  • Never leave trash bags out - Store in a secure building or container and put trash out the morning of pickup.
  • Check your yard for bears before letting your dog out. Do not let dogs chase or interact with bears.

Anyone with questions or concerns may contact the Massachusetts Environmental Police at 800-632-8075. If there's any emergency, contact police immediately at 911.

For more information regarding bear safety, click here.

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