Mass. drought may be contributing to more bear sightings

·1 min read

Drought conditions are now at critical levels across much of Massachusetts, and the dry summer may be the reason more bears are showing up in people’s backyards.

In a news release Aug. 5, MassWildlife detailed the drought’s impact on various plants and animals. The agency says berries, bears’ primary food source, can become scarce during an extended drought.

“In dry summers, nuisance bear complaints tend to be higher because bears are more frequently using residential areas, taking advantage of bird feeders and trash,” according to MassWildlife.

The impact can also roll into the fall, as dry conditions affect the timing and quality of acorn crops. This means bears may seek food in agricultural areas, leading to crop damage.

Communities north of Boston have warned of bear activity after several sightings this summer. On Sunday, Danvers Police said a bear was seen on Centre Street and advised residents to remove bird feeders and secure their trash.

That sighting came on the heels of reports in Wilmington and the Merrimack Valley in July.

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