A young male black bear (Ursus americanus) that made a surprise appearance on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, has been returned to the mainland by state wildlife officials.
The isolated peninsula is a popular vacation spot but not for bears. The 180-pound bruin became a minor celebrity after completing a refreshing swim across the 500-foot-wide Cape Cod Canal during the recent Memorial Day holiday.
Once on dry land again the hairy accidental tourist traveled east, from Sandwich to Provincetown and then backtracked to Wellfleet, covering over 60 miles during the two week visit. Residents-turned-bear-paparazzi documented the animal’s travels, including trips to a golf course and cranberry bog, with photos and videos.
Massachusetts’ bear population, estimated at about 3,000 in 2005, is on the rise and expanding from the western into central, eastern and southeastern parts of the state.
The species is highly adaptable and, therefore, becoming a more common feature of urban and suburban habitats across the U.S. Attractants include bird feeders, garbage cans and dumpsters, compost piles, pet and livestock food, outdoor grills, fruit trees, and beehives. News stories posted over the past week alone include reports of urban bears in Florida, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New York.
Once the Cape’s sightseeing bear was spotted in downtown Provincetown with smartphone- and camera-toting members of the pubic in hot pursuit, wildlife officials became concerned about the safety of both the human and non-human animals. The state’s Environmental Police and Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) both took part in the relocation effort.
A tranquilizer dart was used to stun the animal, which was then carefully removed on a stretcher from the underbrush where it had taken cover. Biologists and police monitored the bear post-release and say it’s in good condition and doing well.
Prior to release in an undisclosed location in central Massachusetts, the animal was given an ear tag so it can be recognized in the future—a souvenir, if you will.
Want to learn more? Be smarter than the average bear… amble on over to Next-Door Nature.
You may also like:
Kieran Lindsey loves looking for wild things in all the wrong places... so she became an urban biologist. Her quest to entice others to share this passion led to flirtations with (gasp!) the media—as a columnist for the Houston Chronicle; as host of KUNM-FM’s Wild Things; as producer of an Emmy® winning wildlife documentary; and at her Next-Door Nature blog. Kieran has way too much fun as official Animal-Vehicle Biologist for NPR's Car Talk, and she isn’t ashamed to admit it.
Share on social media
Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days
- POLL: Should the MOTV trophy hunting channel be closed down? [1544 Views]
- POLL: Should captivity for all killer whales be banned? [1175 Views]
- POLL: Should the trophy hunting of lions be banned? [1169 Views]
- POLL: Should trophy hunting be banned? [1137 Views]
- POLL: Should Asia’s elephant tourism be banned? [1086 Views]
- POLL: Should there be a tough crack down on the killing of raptors? [908 Views]
- POLL: Should the pangolin slaughter in Africa be banned? [881 Views]
- POLL: Should the keeping of dolphins in captivity be banned? [843 Views]
- Selfie-Seeking Men Kidnap, Injure Endangered Florida Deer [692 Views]
- POLL: Should Praying Mantises be used for pest control? [684 Views]
Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months
- POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farms? [16921 Views]
- POLL: Should Congress disband Wildlife “Killing” Services? [11091 Views]
- Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [9443 Views]
- POLL: Should the killing of giraffes be outlawed? [4733 Views]
- POLL: Should the sale of elephant ivory be legalized? [4083 Views]
- POLL: Should foxes be culled to protect domestic pets? [3790 Views]
- POLL: Should the coyote continue to be exterminated? [3463 Views]
- POLL: Should the cruel sport of bullfighting be banned? [2856 Views]
- POLL: Should Canada ban the hunting of seals? [2632 Views]
- POLL: Should the Tories be allowed to bring back fox hunting? [2568 Views]