In this Wednesday Aug. 1, 2007 file photo, a black bear walks across the ground in Lyme, N.H. A Maine legislative committee decided in late May 2019 that proposals to overhaul the state's bear hunting rules will have to wait until the next legislative session in January. The bear population of Maine has grown from about 23,000 in 2004 to more than 35,000 in 2019, the largest bear population on the East Coast. Credit: Cheryl Senter | AP

An adult black bear has killed eight goats and destroyed three beehives at homes near the Chesterville Wildlife Management Area in Franklin County, the Lewiston Sun Journal reports.

Residents have filed 10 complaints about the bear, which has been roaming the area for more than three weeks and appears to be alone. Two bear traps have been set. Two goats survived the attacks, which were reported in Chesterville, Jay, New Sharon, Wilton and Vienna, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife spokesman Mark Latti said Monday.

Bear attacks on humans are rare. With the end of their hibernation season, bears typically search for food and are drawn to human enclaves by the exact things that drew these attacks — loose livestock, birdseed, beehives, bird feeders, chickens, goats and garbage. Pets are a common attraction. An Orrington man said he fought off a black bear that attacked his puppy in woods off of Route 1A in Dedham by sticking a finger in the bear’s eye, although that attack occurred in January 2018, when bears were forced from dens by unusually heavy rain.

Latti advised area residents to remove those items from their back yards, and anything else that could attract bears, the Sun Journal reports. People confronted by bears are advised to back away from them slowly.

Game wardens are working with a staff biologist on the case. If caught, the bear will be moved north away from populated areas, Latti said.