TOPSHAM, Maine — Topsham police warn residents who encounter a black bear reportedly seen in the Bridge Street area not to approach or corner the animal.
Lt. Christopher Lewis said a black bear sighting in the Bridge Street area was reported to police Monday night. A second sighting occurred Tuesday morning.
The Maine Warden Service has been notified and Lewis said Tuesday that police have yet to receive any indication that the bear has behaved in an overly aggressive manner.
However, bears’ appetites increase at this time of year as they prepare for their winter torpor by storing up on food. Lewis warned people to make sure their trash is contained so it doesn’t attract the bear.
If people do spot a black bear, Lewis said to leave it alone. Don’t approach it or corner it because bears are very fast and can be extremely mean, he said. Call the police or the Maine Warden Service, he said.
Officer Troy Garrison received a May 31 report of a black bear on Smith Road and chased the creature into the woods. At the time, Garrison thought the bear might have been following the Androscoggin River, as authorities had received reports of bear sightings in Brunswick and Durham.
According to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website, black bears “are intelligent, and adapt rapidly to new food sources, including agricultural crops and food placed to attract other wildlife, such as bird feeders and untended garbage. Therefore, they occasionally cause problems for farmers, beekeepers and orchardists, and rural residents in the state.”
The animals have been known to travel as far as 40 miles outside of their ranges in search of food during late summer or fall, and store body fat during the autumn months to supply energy during their long winter denning period. Bears normally enter dens in late November.