ARLINGTON, MASS. (WHDH) - A black bear that prompted a warning and a delayed opening for Arlington schools Monday morning continued to roam around the area throughout the day, being spotted at a farm in neighboring Lexington by Monday afternoon.
As authorities tracked the animal, some in the community shared their reactions.
At Wilson Farms in Lexington, Store Manager Richie Salerno said he saw the bear run out from behind a building earlier in the day.
Colleague Robbie Sampson also saw the bear.
“[He was] probably 200-300 pounds, maybe three and a half feet tall,” Sampson said.
Sampson captured video of the bear. Another video captured by Arlington police showed the bear darting across a row of plants.
“He made his way to the food,” Salerno said. “Smart bear.”
In Arlington, Betti Tasanari was one of the first people to spot the bear on Monday morning around 7 a.m. She said she saw the bear when she was taking her dog out.
“A lady drives by and she starts yelling at us ‘There’s a bear, there’s a bear in your yard crawling on your wall!” Tasanari said. “We said ‘Yeah, sure.’”
Several schools had to start on a one-hour delay as officers went on a bear hunt Monday.
In a statement the Arlington Public Schools said there were multiple sightings of the bear in the Arlington Heights area.
“In collaboration with the Arlington Police Department and Town officials, we decided it was prudent to delay schools while resources were deployed and in the interest of student safety,” officials said.
The school district urged parents and students to “exercise caution in going to school” and said students would be kept inside for recess and other activities.
Contacted Monday afternoon, Arlington school officials said dismissal went off without issues after the morning’s delay.
Elsewhere Monday afternoon, with the bear seen in Lexington, employees at Wilson Farm said they were grateful the only grizzly part of the scene was that the bear went running through the farm’s red leaf lettuce.
“Maybe, he came all the way down from New Hampshire or Connecticut because we got the best strawberries,” said employee Jimmy Kelleher.
Sightings in Arlington and Lexington came after a bear was spotted in Newton over the weekend. MassWildlife Assistant Director Michael Huguenin said this was “quite possibly the same bear.”
“That’s what they do,” Huguenin said. “They move pretty good distances.”
Huguenin continued, saying experts try to avoid relocating bears, when possible.
“We don’t want to move the animal, if we can help it,” he said. “We want to let it be. We want to let it move on its own.”
By Monday night, officials said the bear seen in Arlington and Lexington earlier in the day had moved into a wooded area. Still, officials said community members should be aware.
Officials have said the biggest piece of advice for those living in areas where bears have been seen is to keep any food sources, like bird feeders or trash inside.
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