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Amherst residents asked to remove bird feeders to avoid unwanted visits by other wildlife

AMHERST — Residents are being asked to take down their bird feeders or else risk bringing unwanted wildlife onto their properties.

Animal Welfare Officer Carol Hepburn said she is putting out an advisory for people to remove their bird feeders, watch what they are putting in their compost piles and either cover their trash cans or keep them inside.

“At this time of year, wildlife is out in full force,” she said.

These include bears, foxes, bobcats and coyotes.

“All are out hunting for their babies. They are out of their dens,” Hepburn said.

It is not unusual, she said, for these animals to be seen in areas of downtown. Bears have been known to roam through the Lincoln and Sunset avenues neighborhoods.

While people like to feed birds throughout the winter months, Hepburn said this is no longer necessary in May.

“Birds can pretty much fend for themselves at this time of year,” Hepburn said.

Meanwhile, she is also urging residents to obtain dog licenses, which are required by June 1. She estimates about half the dogs in Amherst remain unlicensed for next year. The cost per license is $5 for dogs that are spayed or neutered and $15 for all other dogs.

A $30 penalty will be assessed for each dog not licensed by the end of May.

Licenses are available directly from Hepburn or at the central services counter at Town Hall.

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