Black bear spotted in Barnstable residents’ backyards

A black bear roamed freely in the backyards of some Cape Cod residents tonight—a rarity for the area, Barnstable Police officials said.

The Barnstable Police Department received several calls around 8:30 p.m. reporting black bear sightings off of Route 6A near High Street in Barnstable, said Officer James Melia.

The bear was ambling along behind houses near the woods, but did not approach any people during its evening stroll, Melia said.

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By the time police arrived, the bear had disappeared into the wooded area, Melia said.

He said the sighting was rare for Cape Cod, as bears are not indigenous to the area.

“This is the first [bear sighting] I can imagine,” said Melia. “Some guys here also said they’ve never heard of a black bear down here at all.”

Massachusetts State Police sent a helicopter with infrared heat-detecting technology to help locate the bear in the woods, but had no luck finding the furry visitor.

If officials did find the bear, environmental officials would have tranquilized and relocated it, said Barnstable Patrolman John Campbell.

Officials said they are unsure where the bear came from.

“It’s just a bear and they do live in the wild, but it is kind of strange that it’s on Cape Cod,” Campbell said.

There was also a bear sighting in nearby Sandwich on Saturday, Campbell said, and Campbell and others were assuming it was the same bear.

Police sent a reverse-911 alert to Barnstable and West Barnstable residents notifying them of the situation. Melia said that if anyone sees a bear, they should avoid contact and call 911 immediately.