MARION (WBSM) — The SouthCoast has been abuzz this week with all of the black bear sightings from Taunton to Fall River to New Bedford, but it appears we may have figured out just what the bear is doing down here.

He apparently headed to Marion for a Memorial Day weekend vacation, starting off with a nice, refreshing dip in Sippican Harbor this morning.

After the bear encountered law enforcement armed with tranquilizer darts on Wednesday, he turned tail and meandered away from Converse Road. Some thought he headed to Plymouth based on some reports there, but it appears he never actually left Marion.

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On Thursday morning, Saltworks Marine employee Kenleigh Muller had a “beary” intense moment.

“I went to clean up a customer’s boat at around 10 a.m. today, and (the bear) walked by me and jumped in the harbor,” she told WBSM. “I was terrified, jumped onto the boat I was working on and started recording.”

“He didn’t seem to care about me, he just wanted to go for a swim,” said Muller, who has worked for the past two years at Saltworks Marine as a yacht finisher.

Muller and Saltworks shared the video, which naturally got a lot of attention. Even the Marion harbormaster got in on the fun, posting to Facebook that “the famous black bear has broken the ‘no swimming on the town docks’ rule, and took a dip in the harbor. Nauti bear!’

Craig Gravem, who works at Burr Brothers Marine in Marion, caught some footage of the bear from the other side of the harbor.

The bear must've worked up an appetite with his swim, because later in the afternoon he showed up on Cross Neck Road and helped himself to some birdseed from a deck box.

Courtesy Jennifer Diglaw
Courtesy Jennifer Diglaw

We're not even sure that all of the sightings are the same bear, or if there are multiple bears, but the bear sightings have captivated the SouthCoast nonetheless.

All week long, folks have been trying to come up with a name for the bear, with suggestions such as “Linguica,” “Bristol,” “Waldo,” “Dipper” (because of the Big Dipper-like path he made on our SouthCoast Bear Tracker, although now it has a double meaning after his dip in the harbor) and “Quahog.”

Yet perhaps we’ve now found the perfect name for him: James Spader. Because like the Hollywood star, the bear also summers in Marion.

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