BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WGGB) — In just the past few days, one moose was hit on the Mass Pike in Blandford, another moose was spotted on the side of I-91 in Holyoke and this morning a third moose was found trespassing in a family’s backyard in Chelmsford, Mass. These incidents are new to residents in Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Divison of Fisheries and Wildlife have taken notice.
“Our moose population is increasing dramatically,” said Ralph Taylor of the state’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. “We see a lot of females that are residents here now, where as 15 years ago we thought they were displaced from the states to the west and north around us.”
Taylor said that females can attract males from a large distance away. However the new visitors to Western Mass are making drivers more watchful on the roads.
“It’s obviously a very dangerous situation,” said Taylor. “We’ve had three human fatalties in Massachusetts over the last couple of years and that will probably increase as we get a larger and larger moose population.”
And moose aren’t the only thing making appearances in Western Mass neighborhoods. There have been several bear sightings in the Pioneer Valley, including one in which a bear attacked a woman’s dog in Northampton.
“It’s dramatic to see where the bears are located in Massachusetts,” said Taylor. ” In particular because they’re right downtown near King Street and Route 5.”