Backyard bear swipes resident near cubs
by Town Reminder
A bear was a surprise guest at a residence on Central Park Drive in Holyoke last Tuesday. Residents Jen and Joe Dordine snapped a photo of the bear as it meandered in their neighborhood. “He paid a visit to some of the houses on the street looking for food,” said Jen and Joe. “Didn’t bother anybody, but it was quite a sight.”
Town records two coyote, bear encounters in June
By Kristin Will
SOUTH HADLEY – When dumping lawn clippings near his yard’s tree line, a Hadley Street resident accidentally positioned himself between a mother bear and her two cubs.
According to South Hadley Police Lt. Steven Parentela, the male Hadley Street resident heard a noise Saturday, June 27 around 4 p.m. after empting his lawn mower’s bag.
He noticed two bear cubs a few feet away from him in the backyard.
As a hunter, the resident knew the cubs’ mother was likely nearby.
As he looked quickly around to see where the mother bear could be located, the resident heard a grunt to his left.
The mother bear was standing 100 feet away, said Parentela, leaving the resident directly between her and the cubs.
The bear suddenly charged at the resident, swiping at his legs.
The mother bear caught the man’s left leg with her paw and knocked him to the ground.
Parentela said the man was quickly able to get to his feet as the bear again charged him.
“He was able to back out of the area while waving his arms,” said Parentela.
The bear grunted loudly but did not advance.
The man did not sustain any serious injuries. He did receive some cuts and scrapes from the bear’s claws. He did not seek medical attention.
Parentela said the man had seen that particular bear in the area over the past several years. This was the first time she showed aggression.
Her demeanor was likely due to the resident’s unfortunate positioning between the mother bear and her cubs.
A second wildlife encounter occurred on Sunday, June 7 at a residence on Pearl Street.
According to Parentela, a 68-year-old man attempted to break up a fight between his dog and a coyote.
When the man tried to break the two animals apart in his yard, he was knocked to the ground by the coyote and bitten on his forearm.
At the time, an 18-year-old neighbor was in the area and ran to assist the man. As the teen boy arrived to the area, the coyote ran off into the woods.
The teen transported the man to the hospital around 9 p.m., according to police.
Town Administrator Michael J. Sullivan said the victim needed to receive a series of rabies shots as a precaution.
“In both of these cases, I don’t think anyone’s intent in the morning was to have a vicious interaction with a wild animal,” said Sullivan. “I am glad nobody got hurt.”
Both incidents were reported to the Massachusetts Environmental Police.