Motorists beware - bears crossing on Route 2

  • Bears were spotted crossing Route 2 between Exits 19 and 20 Wednesday. —ATHOL DAILY NEWS/Jacki Caron

  • Bears were spotted crossing Route 2 between Exits 19 and 20 Wednesday. ATHOL DAILY NEWS/Jacki Caron

Published: 9/26/2019 9:54:16 PM
Modified: 9/26/2019 9:54:09 PM

ATHOL — Athol Daily News Advertising Executive Jacki Caron encountered a family of bears (called a sleuth or sloth) while driving East along Route 2 at 6:40 p.m. Wednesday, between exits 19 and 20. Caron said, “I saw the mom came out of the woods right before I passed by. I quickly slowed down and pulled over after I had passed them.”

She grabbed her phone, swiveled around in her seat and snapped a couple photos through the rear window.

“The little one stood up on his hind legs to look at my car and the mom was also looking at my car. The mom kept an eye on other cars going by and when there was a good break — she ran across the road with the two cubs following her.”

Caron noted that the adult bear was wearing a monitor around her neck, “So she must be known,” she said. No other vehicles pulled over. Caron said, “The bears waited for a few minutes after I pulled out, for a break in traffic before running across both lanes. Hopefully they made it across the two westbound lanes.”

The past March, State Troopers closed Exits 19 and 20 on Route 2 for a time to allow MassWildlife officials and Environmental Police in their rescue of a black bear family (mother and her cubs) found in a den built on the median strip in the Templeton area. Those bears were relocated to what was considered a safer location in a nearby wooded area to reduce the risk of vehicle collision.

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