Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you look out your window and find a sight that stops your heart. This happened to me on a recent Monday morning when I heard a strange sound from our driveway. No, I didn’t spot a lion or tiger. Instead, a huge black bear stood there, rummaging through our garbage.
Grabbing my camera, I took some pictures and a quick video. Then I called everyone — my husband, Randy, my mom, and son, Paul — to see.
We all gathered at the window, aghast, but also fascinated. “What do we do?” I kept asking. No one seemed to know.
Although scary, I had to admit there was something beautiful about this creature with its sleek, thick black fur. It was so big and round, an unbelievable sight, the first wild bear I’d encountered. Growing up, we never had them this close. Supposedly, the bear population is increasing among woodsy Connecticut, mostly because of the easy food pickings — bird feeders, open grills, and garbage bins.
Recently we received an announcement from our First Selectman. So many bears have been spotted, some are sporting tags on their ears from being tracked. From what I could see, “our” bear had no tag. Great, I thought, a new member to the Connecticut bear club.
We finally pounded on our windows and the bear lumbered away into our woods. I texted our neighbor who has a little boy and several dogs. A black bear was on the property between our houses, I told her. “So scary!” she texted back.
We called the police who took this in stride. These calls are common, they said. We should keep our garbage cans in the garage from now on. Scarily, my mother had been out walking on our driveway minutes before the bear was spotted. The police assured us bears don’t want to meet humans. Still… I’d hate to startle one.
I comfort myself that people killed by wild animals in this area are rare, if ever. If anything, as we learned recently, wild animals have more to fear from us.
A local bear nicknamed “211” from the red, numbered ear tag he wore, grew to be a favorite among the bear watchers in town. “211” was an adolescent who seemed harmless, mostly interested in checking out local garbage fare. Sadly, “211″ was killed by a hit and run driver recently when he wandered onto a road. Many in town mourned the loss of this beautiful, wild creature.
We haven’t seen “our” bear since his visit. I hope he stays in the woods as far from people as possible – for our protection, but his as well.
Our family’s often wondered over the years, if we could see what roamed through our property late at night, what would amaze us the most?
Turns out, all we had to do was wait for a Monday morning.
Have you encountered a large, wild creature on your property? Comments are always welcome and if you’d like to share, please do.
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