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Black Bear Invasion Upsets Neighbors

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) – Seeing wildlife in the woods can be exciting but seeing wild animals in your backyard, that’s a different story.  Janel Jorda of Northampton says her property has been torn up by black bears several times.

“They’ve ripped apart our wooden trash enclosure,” said Jorda.  “They have damaged and run over our landscape lighting.  Last week they ripped open our chain-link fence, knocked over a fountain and broke it.”

Janel says the bears are attracted because a neighbor is feeding them.  Thomas Wooster told us off-camera that he used to put out bird feed but not anymore.  He says everyone in the area has been affected by the bears over the years, but it’s not his fault.

“It’s strange and amazing that when you think about it, there’s no law even in Massachusetts, full of bears saying you can’t feed them,” said Jorda.  “You can’t feed wildlife and endanger them or yourself.”
Janel isn’t the only one bothered by the bears.  Other residents have experienced similar situations.  Bears are coming out of the nearby woods looking for that food.

“This isn’t just me.  There’s children that live across from me that were eating outside and the bears came upon them on their porch one day,” Jorda said.

David Fuller of Massachusetts Wildlife says his team has tracked the bears to Wooster’s house.  But another reason they might be attracted to communities is because of unprotected trash.  An ordinance to stop people from feeding bears is in drafting stages in the town.

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