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NEWS

Black bear makes social media debut, thanks to Hopkinton police sergeant

The bear was lumbering alongside the highway when the police capture it -- on video

Jack Perry
Providence Journal

HOPKINTON − A black bear made following an encounter Thursday with a

Sgt. Ryan Percival was patrolling in a cruiser near Interstate 95's exit 7 when he spotted the "sizeable" black bear lumbering alongside the highway, according to a Facebook post by the Hopkinton police.

"Due to the heavy fog, Sgt. Percival asked if he needed a ride," the post says. "He asked if he was being detained before fleeing into the woods."

Percival managed to capture some video of the bear before it scurried away.

The post brought the bear at least some level of social media notoriety. As of early Friday afternoon, the post had been shared 118 times, received 83 comments and 665 reactions, including 77 heart responses.

Black bear sightings are increasing in Rhode Island, according to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

More:Soon spotting a black bear in your RI yard may not be unusual. What to do if you see one.

Rhode Island is believed to have only "a handful" of resident black bears, all males, but the population here will likely increase as the much higher bear populations in neighboring Connecticut and Massachusetts continue to grow and young bears leave "for a territory to call their own," the DEM said after reported sightings this spring.