AMHERST – Frank Marks is concerned.
“This thing’s been up into Bayview Drive,” said Marks.
The owner of F&K Computers, in Amherst, said a black bear has been frequenting the area. He said it was also seen at Eddy Group, and a couple of times on McCully Street. Tracks were found behind Esso and bear scat behind A&W, according to Marks.
“Problem is, they’re not letting (anybody) know,” said the shop owner, who also said he hunts bears.
Marks fears someone, maybe a child, is going to get hurt if they don’t know to take precautions because of the animal’s presence.
He estimated the bear was two or three years old.
“That’s not something you want to play with,” said Marks. “They need to get ahold of this bear.”
The shop owner said people don’t realize how dangerous black bears can be: “They are very powerful animals.”
He provided an anecdote of a black bear in Oxford being fed donuts by people.
“When you run out of donuts, guess what?” he said rhetorically.
The hunter thinks the bear has gotten used to easy food near people, and a live trap isn’t going to solve the problem.
“I know what has to happen…I think he needs to be euthanized.”
Terry Moore is a fire technician with the Department of Natural Resources. He was just coming off vacation and had little information, but was able to confirm a live trap has been placed in the area.
Amherst police were notified of the bear sightings.
“I think we had three separate calls,” said Sgt. Bob MacPherson. All three calls came Aug. 13. Tupper Blvd. was mentioned as a location.
That was the day George Douglas saw the bear, which he described as a cub about a year old. Douglas works at Eddy Group.
“We were very surprised to see it,” he said.
Douglas didn’t sound too concerned. He said the cub seemed curious and was looking at him and his human companions.
Peter MacDonald is a large animal biologist with the Department of Natural Resources.
“We don’t know,” he said, when asked how many black bears reside in the province, but thought an estimate of 10,000 might be in the ballpark. MacDonald said he isn’t aware of any injuries reported to DNR caused by black bears this season.
“Generally bears are very shy animals,” he said.
They can become a threat when they get used to people, according to the biologist.
“Any wildlife is dangerous,” he said.
The biologist mentioned a number of options for dealing with a bear in close contact with human habitation, including relocating and euthanasia, depending on circumstances. Some cases may be dealt with by removing the item(s) that may be attracting the animal.