NEWS: DEM urges residents to keep cats inside with bear on the prowl

A black bear, like the one spotted in North Kingstown, holding a fish. Stock photo.

By Kim Kalunian, WPRO News

Rhode Island doesn’t have any lions and tigers, but bears? Oh my.

First it was the infamous Cranston Bear, who even has a Twitter handle. Now, reports of a black bear have been surfacing in North Kingstown.

Jay Osenkowski, Deputy Chief of the Department of Environmental Management’s Fish and Wildlife Division, told John DePetro on the WPRO Morning News Monday that there has been an increase of activity of one particular black bear in south county over the past week.

Primarily bears are nocturnal, and according to reports, this one has been munching on bird feeders and prowling people’s property.

Osenkowski said there isn’t a need for people to worry when it comes to safety, as bears will typically flee from people.

“I wouldn’t say that there’s any reason to be concerned,” he said.

He advises residents of North Kingstown and surrounding areas to keep all food indoors, take down bird feeders, and make sure cats don’t stay outside.

According to the Associated Press, the DEM plans to trap, tranquilize and tag the bear, and relocate it to a less populated area. However, the bear doesn’t seem to like the donuts they’ve been using as bait.