Massachusetts Black Bear Population Growing and Moving East; Will Bruno Soon Say Hello To Boston?

Although much of America’s wildlife is under threat, some notable exceptions exist, and one of these is the black bear population of Massachusetts.

shaggy wild black bear walking in summer forest
Black bears are the smallest and most populous of the three North American bears. An estimated 800,000 call North America home. Photo by Alex Dugquem on

Estimated at around 100 in the 1970’s, the population today is probably closer to 5,000 according to biologists quoted in the Boston Herald Those wildlife officials said bears are even being spotted in Concord, just under 20 miles from Boston.

Residents in densely populated suburbs are now reacting to the same antics residents of Southern California mountain areas face. Bears in backyards, wandering around neighborhoods and generally acting like they own the place.

The wildlife officials suggest that residents accept the fact that they do have ownership rights. We have to change our habits because they won’t change theirs. Changes in habits will include securing garbage and not leaving pet food outside to make your backyard less attractive.

grizzly bears in the wild
Grizzly bears are a form of brown bear and are significantly bigger than black bears and can be very dangerous. About 55,000 are thought to live in North America, Photo by patrice schoefolt on

According to the National Park Service (NPS) there are important things to do if you run into a bear. The most important include. talking to show you are human and not prey,. Standing your ground and slowly waving your arms and staying calm are also important. Do not run but leave the area, moving sideways if possible. You are less likely to trip and can watch the bear. The NPS says black bears can reach about 500 pounds. They eat almost anything and can run, swim and climb trees.

white polar bear resting on a rock
Polar bears are the third North American bear. Very powerful and quite predatory their numbers have been increasing since 1950 and are now thought to number about 39.000 worldwide.Photo by Yigithan Bal on

American black bears are one of eight types of bears. They are found in North America and range from Alaska and Canada into Mexico. An estimated 800,000 are believed to roam this range. They are luckier than some of their cousins, such as Sun Bears, which have frequently wound up in the bear bile trade,

Published by ursusrising

long time writer and editor living in Los Angeles

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