A bear was sighted repeatedly Saturday near a residential neighborhood in Gorham, police said.

“Stay Alert! We have had a number of calls today of a bear in the Lawn Ave. & Sunset Ave. areas,” the police department said on its Facebook page.  The two streets form the back corner of a neighborhood and are about a quarter-mile north of Main Street (Route 25).

Maine’s black bear population is pegged at approximately 36,000 by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, making it the largest among the 48 lower states. Bears are most active between April 1 and Nov. 1 and are opportunistic food gatherers. Especially in the spring, when they have finished hibernating and natural foods are scarce, they will venture into backyards, lured by food scents, and looking for accessible edibles like bird feed, garbage and pet foods.

The DIF&W website offers many tips for lessening the chance of bear interactions and limiting property damage. They include taking in bird feeders at night, keeping garbage stored inside or inside an electric fence, removing any outdoor pet food, and cleaning grills after each use.

Gorham police reminded people not to approach bears and to notify the police when a bear is spotted.

Last week, bears reportedly ripped up a chicken coop in Berwick, prompting the Berwick Police Department to issue similar warnings.

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