NUMEROUS BEAR ENCOUNTERS IN VALLEY

by Christian Mower on June 20, 2012

“THE BEAR HAS DONE A VERY THOROUGH JOB OF SPEWING TRASH THROUGHOUT NORTH CONWAY VILLAGE FROM PEACHES UP THROUGH SCHOULER PARK.”

THAT WAS THE REPORT OF CONWAY POLICE CPL. MICHAEL BOUCHER TO A DISPATCHER JUST AFTER HE CAUTIONED A COUPLE OUT WALKING IN THE VILLAGE EARLY MONDAY MORNING.

LT. CHRIS PERLEY SAYS IT WAS ONE OF SEVERAL RECENT SIGHTINGS OF BLACK BEARS IN CONWAY. HE SAYS IN ADDITION TO LEAVING BEHIND A TRAIL OF LITTER, THE FORAGERS ARE ALSO DAMAGING TRASH CANS.

OTHER RECENT ENCOUNTERS INCLUDE AN INCIDENT FRIDAY MORNING WHERE A BEAR WAS HUMANELY PUT DOWN AFTER IT WAS HIT BY A CAR NEAR IMPORTECH ON ROUTE 16 – TWO DUMPSTER DIVING BEARS REPORTED NEAR THE 7-11 STORE IN NORTH CONWAY MONDAY ABOUT 10 P.M. – AND ANOTHER BEAR THAT WAS REPORTED HIT BY A VEHICLE LESS THAN 10 MINUTES LATER SEVERAL MILES AWAY NEAR THE DUNKIN’ DONUTS ON MAIN STREET NEAR THE ALBANY TOWN LINE.

PERLEY SAYS IT’S NORMAL THIS TIME OF YEAR FOR THE BEARS TO BE SEEN AROUND TOWN AND THEY WILL RETURN TO THE WOODS TO FORAGE ONCE THE BERRIES COME IN. HE CAUTIONS EVERYONE TO KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE AWAY FROM ANY BEAR AND TO NOT TRY TO INTERACT WITH ONE IN ANY WAY. IF THERE IS AN EMERGENCY WITH A BEAR, DIAL 911.

PERLEY SAYS HIS DEPARTMENT IS COORDINATING WITH NEW HAMPSHIRE FISH AND GAME – ONE NUISANCE BEAR HAS ALREADY BEEN HUMANELY TRAPPED AND REMOVED FROM THE AREA.

JACKSON’S ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER – LAUREN SYNOTT – SAYS A COUPLE OF BEARS HAVE BEEN HUMANELY TRAPPED IN HER AREA. SHE SAYS THERE ARE SEVERAL REASONS THE BEARS ARE SO ACTIVE RIGHT NOW, INCLUDING RECENT BUMPER CROPS OF BEECHNUTS AND ACORNS, NOT MANY BEARS BEING TAKEN DURING THE HUNTING SEASON – AND A SHORT, MILDER WINTER.

SYNOTT SAYS THAT MEANS THERE ARE A LOT OF BEARS FIGHTING FOR TERRITORY. IN JACKSON VILLAGE SHE SAYS SOME BEARS APPEAR TO HAVE LEARNED HOW TO OPEN A CAR’S DOOR AND AT LEAST ONE VEHICLE HAD A PANEL RIPPED OFF IT. SYNOTT SAYS THE BEARS WILL EVEN TRY TO GET AT A CANDY WRAPPER INSIDE A CAR.

SHE SAYS IT’S A SITUATION WHERE PEOPLE NEED TO CONTROL THEIR OWN BEHAVIOR, BY TAKING IN THEIR TRASH AND BIRD FEEDERS AND NOT LEAVING FOOD ITEMS IN THEIR CARS.