Cambridge Council takes action to catch roaming bear

There’s a bear wandering around the city of Cambridge, and the City Council has had enough.

During the Cambridge City Council meeting Monday, May 19, Council Member Chris Caulk brought up concerns about the bear roaming the streets of Cambridge.

“Over the past two weeks, there’s been a 150-pound bear roaming around my neighborhood, by the Shalom Shop, by 16th Avenue, by John Hirsch’s Cambridge Motors,” Caulk said. “This past Saturday night, we had kids playing outside and the bear was walking through the backyard of people’s homes. It actually tossed my garbage can around pretty good last night. Our dispatch center is getting around 25 calls a night on this, and I guess the other night the folks at the Shalom Shop were trapped inside the store because the bear was roaming around outside.”

Cambridge Police Chief Tim Dwyer explained he has been communicating with the Department of Natural Resources in Cambridge about the issue.

Kevin Gunter Jr. (fifth from right) was sworn in as a new part-time patrol officer for the Cambridge Police Department during the May 19 council meeting. Pictured, from left, are Council Member Chris Caulk, Gunter’s stepfather Glen, Gunter’s mother Carrie holding Gunter’s daughter Summer, Gunter’s wife Chelsea holding their son Chase, Gunter, Cambridge Police Chief Tim Dwyer, Cambridge Mayor Marlys Palmer and Council Members Howard “Howie” Lewis and Lisa Iverson. Photo by Rachel Kytonen

Kevin Gunter Jr. (fifth from right) was sworn in as a new part-time patrol officer for the Cambridge Police Department during the May 19 council meeting. Pictured, from left, are Council Member Chris Caulk, Gunter’s stepfather Glen, Gunter’s mother Carrie holding Gunter’s daughter Summer, Gunter’s wife Chelsea holding their son Chase, Gunter, Cambridge Police Chief Tim Dwyer, Cambridge Mayor Marlys Palmer and Council Members Howard “Howie” Lewis and Lisa Iverson. Photo by Rachel Kytonen

Dwyer explained it’s a cub who was left by his mother in the last couple of months and is trying find its own food sources by going into bird feeders and garbage cans.

The Council directed Dwyer to work with the DNR and look into hiring someone to capture the bear.

While the Council desired to explore other options besides euthanasia, Dwyer explained the DNR informed him it’s likely if the bear is captured and relocated that it will ultimately return to Cambridge, since it has recognized the area as a food source.

Dwyer explained if a resident encounters the bear, they should call local law enforcement.

“If a resident decides to take matters into their own hands, they could possibly be charged with reckless discharge of a firearm,” Dwyer said. “Our neighborhoods are too crowded for someone to start shooting at the bear. Our residents need to leave it to the professionals and our local law enforcement authorities to take care of this.”

Dwyer also cautioned if a resident attempts to shoot the bear and misses, it will “just make the bear mad and then we will have a whole new situation on our hands.”

Cambridge Mayor Marlys Palmer encouraged Dwyer and law enforcement to find a speedy resolution.

“This is a public safety issue and this needs to be taken care of as soon as possible,” Palmer said. “We need you to continue to coordinate with the DNR and find a way to trap this bear.”

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