CHELMSFORD (CBS) – The Thoren family of Chelmsford is devastated after the loss of pets they’ve had for more than four years. The pets are not dogs, or cats, they are chickens.

“They were members of our family,” said Emily Thoren.

img 0921 Bears Break Into Coop, Kill 7 Chickens

Bears tore part of this coop off the hinges, then killed the chickens inside. (Photo: D.Robichaud/WBZ-TV)

Seven of the eight chickens were killed Tuesday night when it’s believed a mother bear and her cubs ripped open the Thoren’s chicken coop. There have been several bear sightings in their town the past several nights.

The family’s two daughters have grown up with the chickens who they use to produce eggs. Each of the chickens had names and according to Emily Thoren, their own unique personalities.

esther Bears Break Into Coop, Kill 7 Chickens

Esther survived a bear attack in Chelmsford (WBZ-TV)

Wildlife officials told the family that bears have been attracted to bird feeders in their neighborhood. The Thoren’s bird feeders were smashed apart and then apparently the bears moved onto the coop.

The one remaining chicken, Esther, is being kept in the garage now because they fear the bears may come back.

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