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Black bears skip out on hibernation to run through Massachusetts town

By
Ben Hooper

AGAWAM, Mass., Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Black bears shunning hibernation for a frolic around a Massachusetts city have become the talk of the town and the toast of social media.

The black bear population in the state generally goes quiet for a long winter's nap from about mid-November or December until a time between February and mid-April, but a group of the bears -- including at least one mother and cubs -- have been sighted repeatedly in recent days strolling around Agawam.

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MassWildlife said that while black bears do hibernate, they aren't "true hibernators" and will sometimes rouse in the middle of winter if there are food sources available.

A mother and her cubs were spotted Friday running across a residential street near Agawam High School, and bears -- possibly the same group -- were seen again Tuesday on the grounds of the Brady Village Apartments.

Photos of the bears have been popping up on social media during the past week.

Wildlife officials cautioned residents that bears have the ability to remember the locations of food sources, so trash should always be secured and bird feeders should be kept out of the animals' reach.

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