HANSON, MASS. (WHDH) - A bear who appeared in Whitman and Hanson and took an interest in pumpkins during the Halloween season must now be euthanized, according to police.
The Hanson Police Department announced on Facebook that “Pumpkin” the bear was able to get into a local barn for a second time on Wednesday night, where the animal appeared to kill a goat.
Authorities said that since the bear had gotten a taste for livestock, the animal would need to be put down as it is becoming “too comfortable in the area and has found too many food sources.”
“We know people will not be happy with this decision,” Hanson PD stated. “We cannot just relocate a problem bear in this area.”
The police department also noted that the resident had installed an electric fence and reinforced their barn doors before the attack.
“This particular bear managed to enter a building that was fairly well-secured,” Hanson Police Chief Michael Miksch told 7NEWS. “So, we’re starting to have a little concern — I don’t want him entering a house.”
Both local and Massachusetts Environmental Police spent two hours tracking the bear on Wednesday, but due to being in a residential area, Hanson PD said officers were unable to get a safe shot at the animal without the risk of endangering residents.
As the search for Pumpkin continues, police are also reminding residents that there is currently more than one bear in the area.
While it is not out of the ordinary to see one roaming a neighborhood, authorities ask locals that if a bear is showing no fear of humans or attempts to enter an area with livestock, notify police immediately.
“He knows that certain areas have this easy food supply and, unfortunately, once they get a taste of livestock, they’re going to continue going back for that livestock so, he then becomes a problem bear,” Miksch said of the bear that will now need to be euthanized.
“If it’s just doing its normal thing and eating acorns, we’re not going to bother him,” Miksch continued. “But as soon as he tries to go after some more livestock or he shows no fear or humans, we’re left with no choice but to do this.”
Miksch said he, himself, is torn up about the decision to euthanize the bear. He said relocating the bear, though, will just move the problem onto another community.
“I feel horrible,” he said. “But public safety, mainly the safety of humans and their property, is going to override this.
Police are urging people to learn about living with bears so this kind of situation does not become a recurring problem in the future.
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