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Family of black bears found up a tree on Clement Road

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TOWNSEND — Spectators gathered around a neighborhood tree on Clement Road where a bear and three cubs took refuge for several hours.

Paula Hyde, who works at her family’s Pepperell Spa restaurant, was heading home when she saw the crowd and unusual objects on the branches.

According to Hyde, four bears were perched in a large tree at the end of a residential driveway. Onlookers watched calmly for several hours as the bears appeared to be resting.

Hyde, who lives in Townsend with husband, Jason, and their two daughters, also reported seeing a black bear in her own backyard about two years ago, and spotted a moose along Route 119 around mid-May.

“It’s exciting,” Hyde said. “I was glad I had my camera this time. Everyone was cautious and the bears didn’t seem to be bothered.”

The state-run MassWildlfe Web site reports that the bear population in the commonwealth was about 3,000 in 2005. In Massachusetts, male black bears averages 230 pounds and females 140. It also states that a litter of three cubs is common and the cubs will typically remain with the mother for 17 months.

Despite popular belief, experts say that black bears are not fierce. However, proper precautions are encouraged to prevent conflicts, especially when cubs are present.

For more information, call MassWildlife at (978) 263-4347 or visit www.masswildlife.org for more information.

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