MSPCA-Angell Headquarters

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-7400
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Angell Animal Medical Centers – Boston

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-7282
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Angell West

293 Second Avenue, Waltham, MA 02451
(781) 902-8400
For on-site assistance (check-ins and pick-ups):
(339) 970-0790
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Angell at Essex

565 Maple Street, Danvers, MA 01923
(978) 304-4648
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Boston

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-5055
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Cape Cod

1577 Falmouth Road, Centerville, MA 02632
(508) 775-0940
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Nevins Farm

400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844
(978) 687-7453
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Northeast Animal Shelter

347 Highland Ave., Salem, MA 01970
(978) 745-9888
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About Black Bears

We have seen an increased buzz about bear sightings lately. While this can be scary, please remember that as humans build out more, we are taking away from the places where bears can live – they have had to adapt to having humans around.

Black bears are generally shy around people, but they may approach our dwellings if they are looking for food. If they do find food, they could come back, and even get used to humans. Becoming comfortable around humans is extremely dangerous for wildlife, so it is important to do everything we can to prevent that from happening. Thanks to a generous grant from the Nion Robert Thieriot Foundation, the MSPCA is proud to be able to offer informational pamphlets on avoiding conflicts with bears AT NO CHARGE to any Massachusetts municipality. Request pamphlets.


The bears you encounter in Massachusetts are black bears, the most common of the three bear types that live in North America (the others being brown bears and polar bears). Black bears grow to about five feet tall and can weigh 100 to 600 pounds.

Approximately 80 to 85% of a black bear’s diet is plant material, while the remaining 15% is made up of animal protein, making them omnivorous. Black bears will eat almost anything, such as grubs, frogs, fish, snakes, ants, grasses, nuts, and berries. Bears may forage up to 20 hours a day during autumn, increasing their body weight by 35% in preparation for winter. During this time they enter “hyperphagia,” which translates to “excessive eating.”

Black bears enter their dens to hibernate between early November and mid-December. For about 100 days the bears will not eat, drink, urinate, or defecate. Their fat stores provide them with nutrients and water, and bears typically lose about 30% of their weight during hibernation.

Black bears live solitary lives except when they are courting mates and rearing cubs. Cubs are usually born in the spring and stay with their mothers until they are about 2 years old. They become sexually mature at about age 3 but usually don’t breed until age 5.

The MSPCA's Intruder Excluder
Check it out!

Detect and humanely resolve conflicts with unwanted wildlife visitors.


Although black bears have historically shied away from humans, they may wander onto human-inhabited property, primarily looking for food.

Take these steps to keep black bears away from your property:

If you encounter a black bear:

(Please note: These tips are for encounters with black bears only. If you are traveling in areas where other types of bears may be present, seek information and advice about how to handle bear encounters in those regions.)


As with all mammals, bears can contract and transmit rabies.


Humane Exclusion Techniques and Vendors

Humane Exclusion Techniques and Vendors

Learn More

Funding for Bear-Proof Trash Receptacles

Funding for Bear-Proof Trash Receptacles

The MSPCA provides funding for bear-proof trash receptacles to help solve bear conflicts in Berkshire County.

Learn More

Living with Bear PSA

Living with Bear PSA

Check out our humorous take on what NOT to do when it comes to preventing bear interactions near your home.

Watch now!

Join the Animal Action Team to stay up to date on animal issues across the Commonwealth.

Advocacy Puppy