Police warn trick-or-treaters to watch out for bear after sighting in Whitman

Local News

“Please take in your pumpkins and don’t leave candy out unattended.”

Bryan Marquard
A black bear photographed in New Hampshire. Bryan Marquard

Police are warning trick-or-treaters to be on the lookout on Tuesday after a bear was spotted in Whitman earlier in the day.

Whitman police said they received a report that a black bear was spotted in the area of Commercial Street between Linden Street and Dyer Avenue around 11:45 a.m. When an officer responded to the area, they also spotted the bear, which was seen in the town earlier this month.

Police said that there has been no contact or dangerous interactions with the bear so far, but “out of an abundance of caution,” the department will have additional officers out during the evening to “ensure everyone’s safety during trick-or-treating hours.”

On Facebook, the department said it is “monitoring this situation as closely as possible.”

“Brigham Street, Winter Street, Franklin Street, and Kendrick Street neighborhoods should be on high alert and use caution,” the department said. “Please take in your pumpkins and don’t leave candy out unattended.”

The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife has the following tips for dealing with bear encounters:

  • 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.