MILTON - Bears in Milton aren't exactly a commonplace occurrence but this spring at least one is giving residents "paws" for concern.
A nuisance black bear has been spotted in several areas along Townhouse Road, including in Pineland Park and Micah Terrace, prompting police to put out a warning on their Facebook site to make sure residents are keeping their trash secure, cleaning grills after every use and taking down bird feeders.
John Roberge has lived on Townhouse Road for more than 20 years, and said this is the first time he's seen a bear on his property.
It's been around almost a week, he said, and last night it was emboldened to even come into an area under his house where he stores his trash inside latched containers.
"Last night I had just fallen asleep when my wife woke and we could hear him trying to get into the trash," he said today. "I started yelling and he took off."
Roberge estimated the bear to be three or four years old and about 250 pounds.
Roberge said the bear seems to be traveling mostly between Mi-Te-Jo Campground and Pineland Park and getting most of his food from bird feedrers.
Milton Police put out a bulletin on their Facebook Page on Saturday with a few tips on how to keep nuisance bears at bay.
1. Stop all bird feeding by April 1.
2. Clean up any spilled birdseed and dispose of it in the trash.
3. Secure all garbage in airtight containers inside a garage or adequate storage area, and put garbage out on the morning of pickup, not the night before.
4. If using a Dumpster, inform your Dumpster company that you need metal locking tops and doors that are inaccessible to bears and other wildlife.
5. Avoid putting meat or other food scraps in your compost pile.
6. Don't leave pet food dishes outside overnight.
7. Clean and store outdoor grills after each use.
8. NEVER FEED BEARS!