BOSTON - Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, also known at MassWildlife, is reminding residents that hungry bears will emerge from winter dens in March and will search for food.
MassWildlife urges residents in areas where bears have been spotted in the past, which includes Worcester County, to remove bird feeders, secure garbage or open compost, bee hives, chickens, and livestock.
Properly maintained electric fencing is the only way to protect chickens or bee hives from bears.
Bears will often ignore seasonally available, natural foods in favor of an easy meal at a backyard big feeder. Wild turkeys and coyotes may also frequent bird feeders.
There are at least 4,500 black bears in Massachusetts and their range is expanding eastward. MassWildlife urges residents to take proactive action to avoid attracting bears to their property.