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Nashua;59.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/bkn.png;2014-09-16 15:23:36
Friday, June 27, 2014

Milford resident gets a surprise: A bear crossing the town Oval

MILFORD – Keshia Dwire of Milford saw an adult black bear “doing a little stroll in the morning” across the Oval at about 7 a.m., when opening up at the Riverhouse Cafe on Thursday morning. The bear headed south on South Street, she said.

As a 2012 graduate of Milford High School, Dwire has lived in town much of her life, and has seen bears at a family cabin up in Colebrook, but this is the first bear she’s spotted in Milford. ...

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MILFORD – Keshia Dwire of Milford saw an adult black bear “doing a little stroll in the morning” across the Oval at about 7 a.m., when opening up at the Riverhouse Cafe on Thursday morning. The bear headed south on South Street, she said.

As a 2012 graduate of Milford High School, Dwire has lived in town much of her life, and has seen bears at a family cabin up in Colebrook, but this is the first bear she’s spotted in Milford.

“I looked out our giant window around 7 o’clock, we were just opening, and saw it. There wasn’t anyone else out there,” said Dwire.

She said the bear crossed the road in front of the restaurant, jumped up onto the Oval, looked slightly confused for a moment, then walked past the gazebo and headed south.

Milford police did receive a few calls about a bear being seen out near Keyes Park on Elm Street and also heading south on South Street.

The bear was an adult but not huge, Dwire said – the size of a very big dog.

Black bear sightings are not uncommon in parts of Milford, especially the wooded areas in the south, but seeing one on the Oval is unusual. Years ago, police had to chase a moose out of the Oval before it scampered away back into the woods.

The state’s bear population has increased in the past decade. New Hampshire Fish and Game estimates that about 5,000 of them now live in the state. Their range has spread south in recent years.

Black bears are potentially dangerous, although no bear has killed a person in New Hampshire since 1784, and attacks are extremely rare.

But the state recently had to kill two bears in the North Country that had become so accustomed to people that they were breaking into cars for food.

It is illegal in New Hampshire to feed bears – a law that carries fines of up to $1,000 – in an effort to reduce bear-human interaction. Since the law took effect in 2006, 42 warnings have been issued for incidents in 22 towns, and one person has paid a fine.