NORTH BROOKFIELD (CBS) – A black bear visited the home of a North Brookfield couple Saturday morning, pilfering from bird feeders but skipping a dip in the deck hot tub.

At about 9 a.m., the bear emerged from woods along Peter and Heather Ledoux’s back yard on Brookfield Road. The bear sampled the bird feeders, explored the deck and finished with a drink of water from the couple’s decorative pond in the yard.

Bear sightings are relatively common in central and western Massachusetts, and wildlife officials urge residents to avoid encounters with the animals.

The state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife website offers the following tips to deter encounters with bears: don’t feed bears, bring in bird feeders between April and November, secure trash in secure containers placed in outbuildings such as a garage, and pen lifestock in or near a barn at night.

In Massachusetts, black bears are active during the daytime in the spring and fall, with sightings most common around dawn and dusk in the summertime, according to the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.


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