Father's Day, 2011, after spending a relaxing afternoon and evening at at a friend's birthday beach bash, we were in for quite a shock when we got home. As we turned onto our street around 8 pm, the police had blocked off the road right in front of our house. Thinking the worst, (house fire, robbery, etc...) one of the officers told us that there was a black bear up in a tree in our next door neighbor's backyard! We couldn't believe our ears. Excuse me? A black bear? Next to our house?? Say what? Was this the Bruins mascot coming to celebrate the home team's recent Stanley Cup victory? Apparently there had been bear sightings reported all day in Attleboro so the locals knew something was up, but this news came as quite a shock to us having having been out all day!
As we parked near the house, one of the cops told us not to get out of our car for our own safety, but there were already tons of people roaming around on the street. We decided to make a break for the front door and got into our house without any problems. We were greeted by our two cats who were pretty freaked out because of the buzz of activity outside and the tension and excitement in the air. The crowd outside was gathering like moths to a flame as the word spread like wildfire by cell phone and through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. was crazy out there! The crowd was growing by the minute and everyone was craning their necks to try and catch a glimpse of that poor, displaced bear, many miles from the safety of his natural habitat. The police did their best to keep the crowd back but the people crept closer and closer to satisfy their own curiosity. (photo at right)
From our dining room window, we could see all the action next door about 15 feet away. The bear had been on the run all day and in a frantic attempt to escape he climbed up one of the cypress trees that lined the back on my neighbor's yard. (see photo below) A number of police officers were there with guns drawn and rifles at the ready keeping a watchful eye on the uncomfortable and unhappy ursine. THe local police had the area secured to ensure the safety of the surging crowd of curious spectators.
Preparations were being made to tranquilize the animal but when the environmental police finally arrived on the scene they decided to let the bear come down on his own and find his way out of this mess. The police moved the crowd back a safe distance and then they retreated from the yard to allow the emotionally bruised and battered bruin an opportunity to flee. Within 5 minutes of this action, things really got interesting!
We heard some branches cracking and watched intently as the bear slowly descended the tree and then quickly ran towards our driveway to make good his escape. Our motion detector floodlights came on and we got a good look at him. According to authorities, he was a young male bear about 1 1/2 yrs old, weighing 100-120 pounds. He appeared to be very scared and just wanted to get away. He jumped right over our backyard gate and into our yard! We ran to the front door to alert the police that the bear was on the run. From our front porch, I caught a glimpse of the bear running up our neighbor's driveway towards the Ten Mile River Watershed area. At last he was free and we all breathed a collective sigh of relief. It was over!
go out to the Attleboro and Environmental police units. Their
professionalism, dilgence and decision making diffused a potentially volatile
situation. We hope that the bear safely made it back to a more
a more rural environment. We've had enough excitement to last
us for many years to come!
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