By Susan Morse
KENNEBUNK, Maine — A black bear is responsible for taking down a bird feeder in a yard on Oak Bluff Road in Kennebunk, according to Cpl. Mike Joy, a local game warden for the Maine Warden Service.
The Oak Bluff Road resident reported the sighting Monday morning, according to Joy, who said he didn’t know whether the man saw the bear, or was calling based upon what was left of the feeder.
“The complaint was it had torn down a bird feeder,” Joy said.
Joy was expected to talk to the resident and learn more later on Tuesday, he said that morning. He didn’t release the resident’s name or exact address.
Bear sightings are not unusual, even in populated areas of York County, though Joy said he gets more reports in the spring than fall.
“We actually get quite a few throughout York County, from every town in York County,” he said. “There’s not a town that’s exempt.”
On Tuesday morning, a Lebanon resident complained that a bear had gotten into his chicken coop and also gone up on the porch, Joy said. The bear got into the coop by ripping the boards off the side of the building, he said. The same bear had been previously spotted in the area.
If a bear returns, there’s a reason, and the best way to avoid contact with the animal is to get rid of the food supply, Joy said.
“They’ll eat anything, from grubs to carrion, birdseed, somebody’s trash,” he said.
If they’re feeding on birdseed, Joy advises residents to temporarily take down the feeder and also to rake the ground to get rid of any seed that’s fallen.
Bears are also attracted to grease left on an outdoor grill, he said.
Joy, who has been a game warden for over 20 years, has never had a report of a bear attacking a person, but residents should know the animals can get as big as 600 pounds, can run fast for short distances, and have razor sharp claws, he said.
“They are big, I don’t know the size of this one,” he said of the one that visited Oak Bluff Road. “They’re a bear, they’re not as big as grizzly bears but they’re not your cute and cuddly teddy bears.”