Massachusetts Homeowner Shoots, Kills Bear That Ate Their Goats and Chickens

by Craig Garrett
Ketchikan, Alaska - stock photo

According to the Massachusetts Environmental Police, a resident of Middleton, Massachusetts shot a bear that had been eating their livestock. The resident managed to kill the animal, 7 News Boston reports. The police have theorized that the same bear has been appearing in several local communities over the past few months. These communities include Boxford, Danvers, Lowell, Middleton, North Reading Wilmington, and Woburn.

According to authorities, on September 29 at about 7:30 p.m., a black bear attacked and killed two goats at the residence. The following morning, at approximately 8:30 a.m., the same animal was seen attacking and killing eight of their chickens in the chicken pen. A resident of the home fired his weapon and killed it.

After MEP said the person shot the bear, they notified both the Middleton Police and MEP. The animal was an 80-pound male. Although MEP is investigating whether or not any charges will be filed. However, they noted that a Massachusetts law allows residents to kill an animal caught in act of damaging property under certain circumstances. An image of what is believed to be the animal was shared on Twitter.

Experts warn that bear encounters are becoming more common

MEP noted that black bear sightings in eastern Massachusetts are becoming increasingly common. The agency typically doesn’t directly intervene when bears venture onto homeowners’ property. They claim the animals usually move on eventually in search of available food. To deter these types of attacks from happening, MEP recommends installing electric fences.

With bear encounters becoming more common, it’s good to have a game plan if you bump into one. Keeping a safe distance and not surprising bears are two things that are particularly crucial. If you hear humans approaching, most bears will avoid them. If you’re in an area with known bear activity or a rich food source, such as berry bushes, pay attention to your surroundings and try to stand out.

The National Park Service advises not to drop your pack and not to give the black bear any food. They also stress not to make direct eye contact. Another thing they suggest is to travel in groups. Finally, the NPS urges folks not to climb trees to escape wild animals. Black bears in particular are terrific climbers.

The NPS stresses that bear attacks are extremely rare. These animals mind their own business if not antagonized by humans. However, they do have some tips in the event of an attack. Interestingly, they strongly urge people to not play dead with black bears. Playing dead works with their brown cousins, though. If you’re stuck in an attack, the NPS says the best bet is to get out of there as quickly as possible. They urge you to find a car or shelter if you can. If you aren’t able to flee, try to defend yourself with whatever is accessible. The NPS says to focus your blows on the bear’s face and muzzle.