Dr. Eden Evins locked eyes with this bear in her Sudbury Road neighborhood. Courtesy photo

Ursa major (visitor): Bear makes spring weekend appearance in Concord

By Celeste Katz MarstonCeleste@theconcordbridge.org

Turns out Lincoln doesn’t have a lock on bear sightings lately: Several Concord residents reported spotting a peripatetic bruin near the Sudbury River last Saturday evening.

“I was building a fire outside. My son [was] grilling some Impossible Burgers. And my dog started barking her head off,” Dr. Eden Evins recalled. 

Mingo, a German Shepherd, wasn’t sounding the alarm over some stray cat.

At first, it “looked like a shadow. But that flash of recognition was there. So I looked harder and walked over towards it. I just stood next to my screen porch, and there [he] was, just standing [and] looking at me,” Evins said.

In her nearly 30 years in Concord, it was the first time Evins had spotted a bear here — and it was no fleeting glance. 

“I fell in love. It was amazing. We locked eyes and looked at each other while I’m trying [to] tell my dog to calm down,” Evins said. 

“It was remarkable.”

Dr. Eden Evins captured this video of a bear near her Concord home.

Lincoln police last week urged residents to be cautious with outdoor activities and pets after a bear sighting north of Trapelo Road. 

The Concord Police Department said they had not received any bear reports as of late Monday.

But Dave Wattles, a Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife bear biologist, said Tuesday that he’s positive the bear spotted here is the same young male who made an appearance in Lincoln.

“There’s only one animal running around there with yellow ear tags,” Wattles told The Concord Bridge.

It’s best to keep your distance from bears, although they’re generally wary of people. Courtesy photo

The bear got the tags after being relocated from downtown Worcester about a month ago, he said, and traveled about 35 miles east to the Lincoln and Concord areas — which isn’t uncommon during this time of year.

“The presence of the bear in town [is] not at all a public safety threat,” Wattles told The Bridge, although he advised taking down bird feeders that might be enticing.

Similarly, “My advice to anyone who sees a bear is to leave it alone. Keeping trash containers secured and bird feeders away from them helps,” said CPD Captain Brian Goldman.

He said it’s an option to call local or Massachusetts Environmental Police “to report the sighting and ensure that the animal is not in need of any intervention or services.”

Nicole McSweeney of MassWildlife said while the department has a Large Animal Response Team, “the mere presence of a bear in a highly populated area does not mean LART needs to respond. 

“If there is nearby connecting green space, and a safe escape route, leaving the animal alone is the best course of action and most common outcome.”

Bear necessities

MassWildlife says black bears are expanding their range in the eastern Commonwealth, with males ranging from 130 to 600 pounds and females tipping the scales at 100 to 400 pounds. 

Bears are typically wary of people, but don’t always immediately recognize humans and  “may be curious” until they scent them. The state’s advice to those who spot bears snacking in a yard, on a porch, or from a Dumpster: “Step outside, yell, and make lots of noise.” 

Concord’s bear spotting generated some neighborhood buzz, but perhaps not as much as a popular TikTok video that asks what’s hypothetically scarier for women — running into a strange bear or a strange guy in the woods.

Concordian Brooke de Lench, who spotted the roving bear in the same Sudbury Road region, says she wasn’t terrified when she glanced up from washing dishes and saw him. 

Video courtesy of Brooke de Lench

“Just from my window, I could see he was right down on the little beach” on the Sudbury River, said de Lench, an author and filmmaker whose work focuses on childhood injury prevention. 

She caught some short video of the furry wayfarer. Afterwards, “I was standing outside. I was looking at my phone [at] the video that I had just taken of him on the beach — and he came right at me.”

De Lench moved quickly back into the house, but says she actually felt more concerned when she recently helped catch a dog that had gotten loose on Lexington Road.

Brooke de Lench kept her distance from the bear as it roamed the shores of the Sudbury River. Courtesy photo

“I’m used to animals — had a lot of animals — but I’ve never seen a bear” in 36 years in Concord, she said. “There are a lot of coyotes and [foxes], eagles, you name it. But never a bear.”

Still, she said, “I think that after raising triplet sons here in town, I have learned to be incredibly calm.”


Both de Lench and Evins say they fervently hope the bear remains unharassed and unharmed. 

“We live in their land. They’ve been here far longer than we have,” de Lench said.

Advised Evins, “Treat [him] with respect. Give [him] space. But also admire.

“[He’s] beautiful.”