2018-04-27 / Community

Continued bear presence leads to warning

Black bear has been sighted numerous times around Kennebunk for the past month
By Duke Harrington Staff Writer

Local officials are advising users of the Eastern Trail to use caution, following a series of recent bear sightings in the Kennebunk and Arundel area.

According to the Eastern Trail Alliance, which warned about the bear April 21 on its Facebook page, the bear has been along the trail between Kennebunk Elementary Road and Limerick Road in Arundel.

‘We have received word from Arundel’s Animal Control Officer that a bear is in the Arundel area, apparently using the trail as his pathway to easily gain access to people’s backyard,” the post read, adding, “Please use caution and notify others who use the trail in this area. We will be posting warning signs as soon as possible.”

The bear has been seen numerous times in the Garrison Oaks Drive and Gendron Lane areas of Kennebunk.

The report of bear sightings was backed up by the Kennebunk Police Department, which similarly took to social media to spread the word.

“There’s been a lot of talk recently about bear sightings in town. We can confirm some of these bear sightings, but they are not unusual for this time of year as bears come out of hibernation,” its post read, which the referred residents to a bear facts info sheet put out by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

According to the department, bears are active in Maine between April and November and Maine is home to the biggest bear population in the contiguous 48 states.

Several post have been made online claiming to see the bear, described as “looking about 250 pounds,” in yards and even on back decks. As bears emerge from hibernation, their first job is to restore depleted energy reserves, and that often means following the path of least resistance to a ready food source.

That appears to be this particular bear’s primary motivation.

“He has bent over several shepherd’s hooks and destroyed bird feeders as well as knocking things over,” the trail alliance posted, noting that the bear has been sighted “during the day.”

Inland Fisheries and Wildlife officials say the best precautions to take are to take down any bird feeders down and to store bird seed and animal food inside. Any garbage left outside should be secured within an enclosure, while grills should be stored inside a garage or other sealed structure.

Staff Writer Duke Harrington can be reached at news@kennebunkpost.com.

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