Students report bear sightings

Last week, students across campus reported various sightings of at least one bear. Campus Safety and Security received its first call last Tuesday at 10:35 p.m, when a Williamstown Police Department (WPD) officer reported seeing a bear in the trees between Spencer and Brooks. Minutes later several students came running from Bronfman to try to see the bear, Security reported, and officers tried to prevent them from entering the area.

At 12:49 a.m. Wednesday, Security officers found the bear on the porch of Doughty. After WPD arrived on scene, the bear proceeded to rummage through the garbage outside the house, and officers entered Doughty to warn students of the situation. WPD officers eventually used an air horn to drive the bear away from the house.

Several students reported bear sightings around the same time. Last Tuesday, Matt Berdoff ’12 described an incident involving several students and a Security officer. “We left Prospect and headed towards Spencer because we heard someone saying that there was a bear,” Berdoff said. “When we left the Science Quad there was a security guard standing by a tree yelling at us telling us we couldn’t come any closer and that he would call the cops if we didn’t move away from the bear.”

Berdoff said that at that point, he and his companions moved to the other side of Route 2 to watch the bear in the tree. “Then it came out of the tree and the Security guard yelled to us, ‘Run! Run!’” he said. “We then tracked the bear to Garfield and then went all of around the campus looking for the bear but were unsuccessful in our attempts.”

Chad Brown ’10 reported a sighting further north on campus. “I saw it one night around 1 a.m. when I was walking on the sidewalk on Route 7, kind of around the [Northside] Motel,” Brown said. “It was also on the sidewalk going towards the rotary. I thought it looked pretty small and non-threatening, though. One of my friends even went sprinting after it.”

“I saw it sometime last week; it was behind Perry in the volleyball court and it looked confused,” said Jessica Mahoney ’10. “It walked up in front of Wood House on the path where the lights are and cars were going by. It must have gotten startled because it ran away off towards Garfield.”