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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

While Black Bears are a permanent denizen of Western and Northwestern Massachusetts(approximately 3000-3600 bears), they have not resided in the Southeastern part of the State for the past 50 years.........Now there have been two sightings in this region with the most recent one over the Memorial Day weekend---making his appearance on Cape Cod!......As our friend Jon Way(Coyote Biologist) states in his EASTERN COYOTE RESEARCH blog, lets bring in a couple of female bears so that a breeding population can contribute to the vitality of the Bay State's Eastern Shore

Police confirm: A bear is here on Cape Cod

The bear that's roamed free in West Barnstable since first being spotted on Sunday likely swam across the canal to get to the Cape, a representative from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife said."It's highly unlikely that it went over the bridge given the amount of traffic at all times of day and this weekend being Memorial Day weekend," Jason Zimmer, southeast district supervisor with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife said. "Bears are very good swimmers and it could swim across the canal without any problem 

Barnstable patrol Officer Patrick Fallon said Monday night that the police are considering reports of the bear to be confirmed after about a half-dozen additional calls plus a photo of a bear that was brought to the police station by a local family.Fallon said a team of state environmental officials are expected to come to the Cape today to respond to the reports.

The bear, believed to be the same one that broke into a few chicken coops in Middleboro last month and most recently was spotted in South Plymouth, is the second one spotted in Southeastern Massachusetts in 50 years, Zimmer said."It's extremely rare for one to be on the Cape," he said. "It's really rare for one to be seen in Southeastern Massachusetts in general."

The four-legged beast that's kept West Barnstable in a bit of a tizzy over the past 24 hours is more than likely a young bear, around 2 years old and about 200 pounds.t was likely that the bear was separated from its mother and began traveling eastward. Male bears are more likely to travel greater distances, Zimmer said.

The bear was first seen Sunday morning in the area of Route 6A and High Street, the police and Zimmer said.Police say they don't believe the bear is a danger to the public, and Zimmer said the bear hasn't gotten into any real trouble in the past."Obviously a bear is something that people should respect, because they do possess the ability to harm a human, but you just keep your distance," he said. "Just treat it like you would a 200-pound skunk."

Black bears are native to Massachusetts and were once widespread throughout the state but disappeared from Cape Cod centuries ago, according to Fisheries and Wildlife.
In 1998, there were an estimated 1,750 to 1,800 bears in Massachusetts, with the population growing at about 8 percent annually, according to the division's website. As of 2003, the site said bears are found almost everywhere west of the Connecticut River, but they are absent from Southeastern Massachusetts.Or were.

Zimmer said wildlife officials anticipate that bears will begin to recolonize the area.
Typically, he said, they would let the bear roam free in its natural habitat as long as it isn't causing adisturbance or becoming a threat. The only time we consider moving a bear is when it's an immediate public safety hazard," he said.

Zimmer said people should be cautious and keep their garbage, bird feed, pet food and any other sort of food source properly secured.Beekeepers should keep their hives secured properly, he said.
Claire Desilets, secretary of the Barnstable County Beekeepers Association, has 10 or so hives in the backyard of her East Sandwich home. She said bears aren't just after honey, as everyone thinks.
"That's not it. It's not a Pooh bear," she said. "They are after the brood (the young larvae), the pollen and the protein for their diet. I'm sure they're going to enjoy the honey for dessert."
But bears can be a potential nightmare for beekeepers, easily knocking over hives and ripping them apart to find whatever they are looking for, she said.

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