MARLBOROUGH – A large stuffed bear is on a journey through Marlborough. And he’s delighting community members along the way.
What started as a single post in the Residents of Marlborough, MA Facebook group has quickly ballooned in recent days as individuals announce sightings of the bear and shuttle him to new locations in their own vehicles.
“It’s a fun thing to do,” Marlborough resident Danielle Santo said in an interview with the Community Advocate on Tuesday.
Bear gains attention, gets name
Mr. Marlby, as he’s since been named, was likely first seen on Huntington Avenue in town, where some have said he might have been abandoned by his owners.
By Dec. 4, though, he was on the move.
Melissa Walsh posted a photo that afternoon showing Mr. Marlby seated on the edge of the top floor of Marlborough’s downtown parking garage.
“Just saw this lonely bear hanging out on the garage,” Walsh wrote in her post.
“I’m like, ‘Oh, this would be so funny if we did a community thing and let the bear see the town,’” Santo said of her reaction to the photo.
Santo suggested that idea and quickly saw another community member take action, adding a sign to hang around Mr. Marlby’s neck and relocating him to the gazebo on the lawn outside of the Walker Building in town to get him protected from heavy rain that rolled through the region this week.
“I would like to become famous,” the sign reads, in part, “Could you help me?”
The sign asks those that spot Mr. Marlby to post a picture of him in the Residents of Marlborough group.
“Since I cannot walk very well, can you please move me to another location so I can sightsee some more in this great city and make more great friends like you?” it also asks.
Mr. Marlby has since shown up at locations like the Marlborough Senior Center and Holt’s Grove.
He was also photographed overnight between Dec. 7 and Dec. 8 posed in a Patriot Ambulance vehicle after being picked up from Holt’s Grove.
“Extricated Mr. Marlby from his predicament at the grove,” Lea Heather wrote in a post alongside those ambulance photos. “The ambulance checked him out and cleared him for his next pit stop. He is enjoying a peaceful water view!”
“Thanks for an evening of laughs,” Heather continued. “Happy bear hunting.”
Bear promotes community bonding
As Mr. Marlby’s celebrity grows, Santo said she’s glad the bear now has a sign explaining its purpose.
“If it was just a bear there, he’s either going to get taken or picked up by the trash,” she said.
Santo continued, adding that she’s grateful for this community activity.
“We’re trying to keep the community together and, right now, is a really trying time in the world,” she said. “So, something small like this can put a smile on somebody’s face.”