Newton issues warning against feeding bears

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:50

    NEWTON-In the three month period of March 16 - June 16, the Newton Police Department handled 140 reported black bear incidents. During the same period in 2004, the number of incidents was 34. This represents a same-period increase in incidents reported of 412 percent. Many of the incidents involved bears trying to access residential and commercial garbage stored outside. The Newton Police Department is reminding residents and businesses of the importance of storing garbage in regularly cleaned containers, and not placing it out for pick-up until as close as possible to the scheduled collection time. In addition, bird feeders should ideally be removed until Dec. 1, when bears are more likely to become inactive and not be searching for food. The department also reminds residents that anyone who either intentionally or negligently feeds black bears face a fine of up to $1,000.00 for each offense. "Living in Bear Country" pamphlets are available at the Newton Police Department Communications Center, at 39 Trinity Street.