Saturday, April 29, 2017

Slow Saturday Special: Tuft Outing For Black Bear

"Black bear found in Berkshires garage is set free" by Felicia Gans Globe Correspondent  April 28, 2017

When a 1-year-old bear was found hiding inside the garage of a Berkshire County home earlier this month, she was emaciated, wet, and shivering.

Just three weeks later, after going through rehabilitation at the Tufts Wildlife Clinic, she was released back into the wilderness. While at the clinic, the bear was kept in a large enclosure that keeps human interaction at a minimum so the animals can easily adapt back into their natural settings. The veterinarians don’t want the animals to become too comfortable or too reliant on humans.

“You run the risk of lessening their fear of humans if they see you as a food source,” said Maureen Murray, assistant director of the Tufts University’s Cummings Veterinary Medical Center. “The last thing that we would want is to put out a bear that becomes potentially a problem bear that is showing up at people’s yards looking for food.”

Black bears are common in Massachusetts, Murray said. They are not predatory and live on a diet of mostly nuts and berries, occasionally eating a dead animal if they happen upon one, she said.

“They will only come into a person’s yard if there’s a food source there,” she said. “They’re not aggressive animals. They’re not predatory animals. They’re not interested in people’s pets.”

I know I'm heading the other way and downhill if I'm outside.