Mother bear and her cubs pause in Greenfield

  • This bear, one of three cubs following their mother around the Shelburne Road area near Newton School, rests in a tree while its sibling is a few branches down, and its mother and a third cub stay at the base of the pine tree on Tuesday afternoon. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • A mother bear and one of her cubs rest at the base of a large pine tree off Shelburne Road Tuesday in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Two bear cubs rest in a pine tree while their mother and a third cub are at the base off Shelburne Road near Newton School on Tuesday afternoon. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 11/19/2019 9:28:03 PM

GREENFIELD — Four bears spent Monday and Tuesday in Greenfield, then left early Tuesday afternoon without incident.

The bears, a mother and three cubs, were first seen Monday at around 10 a.m. in the area of Silver Street and Harrison Avenue, a residential neighborhood. By Tuesday, they had made their way to the area around Newton School, a walk of at least 2 miles without any detours.

“We definitely kept the kids inside,” Newton School Principal Melodie Goodwin said Tuesday afternoon.

The bears left before the end of the school day.

Animal Control Officer Calin Giurgiu intercepted the bears Monday morning as they were coming from Harrison Avenue south toward Greenfield High School, and redirected them northwest, away from the school and the center of town. At 219 Silver St., one of the cubs got stuck on a fence and was temporarily separated from the others, but managed to get down on its own and caught up with the other bears, Giurgiu said.

At around 1 p.m. Tuesday, the same bears were seen in and around the Newton School playground, Giurgiu said.

“There was a lot of excitement, a lot of little faces pressed against the windows,” said Principal Goodwin. “It’s not every day you get to see a bear.”

Environmental police arrived and discussed tranquilizing the bears to remove them. But the bears left at around 1:45 without incident, headed in the direction of the Green River, Giurgiu said.

Bear sightings in Greenfield are fairly common in the early winter and spring, when they are looking for food, Giurgiu said.

“They love our town,” he added.

If you see a bear, Giurgiu recommends staying away from it and calling the police. If you are on your porch and making noise, the bear will stay away on its own, he said.

“Just leave them alone,” Giurgiu said.

Giurgiu also recommends not putting out bird feeders at this time of year, as they will attract bears.

“Their noses are really sharp,” he said.

Reach Max Marcus at or 413-772-0261, ext. 261.

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