A black bear was seen wandering around Arlington and Lexington on Monday, causing a mix of panic and excitement, with helicopters, TV crews, and police all attempting to track the bear.
The bear was first spotted in Arlington on Monday morning, triggering a one-hour opening delay for Arlington schools.
At around 2 p.m., Wilson Farm in Lexington posted a photo of the bear to their Facebook page. The Lexington Police Department confirmed sightings of the bear just before 3 p.m. in the area of Pleasant Street, where the farm is located.
Video footage tweeted by a camera crew from NBC10 Boston shows the bear exploring the farm’s property shortly before crossing over Pleasant Street and fleeing to another area.
Melissa Hawkins, who lives on Rockville Ave., about a mile from the farm, said she saw the bear in her front yard around 8 p.m. on Monday.
Hawkins peered out her front window after hearing her dog barking in an upset manner. There, she said, the traveling bear was sitting in her front yard.
“My family and I weren’t afraid, but we wanted to make sure the bear was okay and people were alerted, so there wouldn’t be a run-in and everyone stayed safe,” she said.
Her family immediately contacted the police and neighbors, and drove around the nearby Bowman Elementary School field to warn people out enjoying the warm weather with their dogs and kids.
Hawkins said the bear stayed briefly in her yard before crossing the street and fleeing in the direction of what appeared to be Philip Road.
Lexington police officials said on Tuesday that the department’s animal control officers are actively working on locating the bear, but believe at this point that it is now out of town.
The sightings come days after a black bear was seen moving through the area of Cold Springs Park in Newton on Sunday. It is unclear if it is the same bear running through Lexington and Arlington.
The Massachusetts Division of Wildlife and Fisheries suggests removing bird feeders, trash and other attractants, such as cleaning greasy barbecues and grills after each use, to avoid black bears. If you happen to come in contact with a bear, leave the animal alone.
The Lexington Police Department asks anyone who sees the bear not to engage and report the sighting to police at 781-862-1212.