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Police alert residents in central Massachusetts town of bear sighting: "This isn't Yogi"

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OXFORD - Police in Oxford, Massachusetts are alerting residents about a hungry black bear that's been sighted in town.

The bear was seen "roaming around" Prospect Street in North Oxford, police said Tuesday night, going through bird feeders and trash in search of food.

"This isn't Yogi the Bear!" police said. "Keep a close watch on your pets, young children and watch yourselves if you're outside."

Bear safety tips

Oxford police said in a follow-up post Wednesday morning that the bear has been sighted near 30 Prospect St. They're urging people not to approach or try to feed the bear. They also say residents should take their bird feeders down and make sure their trash is secure.

"Black bears are generally not aggressive but can become dangerous if they feel threatened or are looking for food," police said.

Anyone who sees the bear is asked to notify Oxford police at 508-987-0156.

Black bears in Massachusetts

Oxford is right on the boundary of the "established" and "expanding" black bear range in Massachusetts, according to the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

It's estimated that the bear population in Massachusetts is over 4,500 and growing. Back in March, MassWildlife shared a reminder to residents to protect their pets, keep dogs leashed when outdoors and never allow them to chase or interact with bears. 

Earlier this month in the western Massachusetts town of Hatfield, State Police said a bear is believed to have dragged a crash victim's body out of a car. Authorities said the victim had already likely died from the crash into the woods before being dragged by the bear. 

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