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Remember I complained about chipmunks?

I take it back.

While snuggled up to a warm computer, I heard an odd metallic noise just outside.  That seemed odd, given the distance of the neighbors.

Looked out the back - nothing there.

Looked out the front - okay, why is Cleo laying in the front garden under my birdfeeders?  Cleo is our neighbor's Newfoundland.  She doesn't respect her invisible fence, and often comes to visit.

Wait - that's not Cleo shaped.

"Hey Bob - come see the bear!  Oh, wait - it's bearS."  Mom and cub knocked down my birdfeeders and were having a nice snack.  Not sure what I'll do about the feeders, because I love the birds, but I think that perhaps it's time for the garbage can to move into the garage...

Yes, as a matter of fact, those ARE my front steps.

And the back bumper of Bob's car.  Tomorrow morning I'll find out how many of my plants they trampled.  I've already filled out a DEP bear sighting form, and even got a picture of the ear tags.  So now they know that bear E9 is in Burlington with a cub.



( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 16th, 2010 03:26 am (UTC)
*low whistle*

Both cats are indoor cats, and the garbage pails are secured (by now), right?

Edited at 2010-04-16 03:27 am (UTC)
Apr. 16th, 2010 12:47 pm (UTC)
Both cats are exclusively indoors, and since Wednesday was trash pickup the garbage can didn't even have a bag in it yet.
Apr. 16th, 2010 03:43 am (UTC)
Alrighty then. For a minute there, I thought you'd moved to Kenya

I think I'd rather have my Local 103 Squirrels. Even if they do bounce pine cones off the Land Rover.
Apr. 16th, 2010 12:47 pm (UTC)
I don't think bears do roadside repair, though.
Apr. 16th, 2010 01:31 pm (UTC)
Nope. For that you need lions:
From Land Rover
Apr. 16th, 2010 04:01 am (UTC)
I am familiar with this situation. They actually yanked the lid off of the metal garbage can where mom kept the bird food. They then triggered the lights so we could watch them in the back yard. My favorite part was watching the cub scratch his back against a tree. Whey I commented, "they're so cute!" mom's response was, "they're so DANGEROUS." My reply was, "As long as I'm on THIS side of the glass, they're cute."

I must say though, growing up on 6 acres within 10 miles of the Delaware Water Gap, it was far more likely to happen by there. You guys are a bit densely populated for this. Of course, where I am now, they apparently show up at the parking lot of the Walmart.
Apr. 16th, 2010 12:56 pm (UTC)
Remember though - the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area (all 777 acres of it) starts about 200 yards away from the end of my driveway.

If we see them again, I'll need to take some action regarding the feeders, the trash, and the grill.
Apr. 16th, 2010 05:07 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing! You know where I live and how dense it is, right? Well, two or three springs ago, there was a bear in, as Ch. 30 reported it, "the woods on Prospect Street in West Hartford."

Said woods are a vacant lot where a burned house had been demolished some years ago.

Between and among a neighborhood of triple deckers.
Apr. 16th, 2010 12:57 pm (UTC)
Yep. The DEP website has a listing of reported bear sightings by town. Last year there were two reported sightings in Hartford. I'm kind of surprised that we haven't seen them before now.
Apr. 16th, 2010 09:53 am (UTC)
Wow! Okay. This puts the rat problem we've been having in my neighborhood into perspective.

Very uncool that mama bear is teaching baby that humans = food. Around here there's a "3 strikes and euthanize" policy for bears that are repeat offenders. The fact that she's tagged means she's probably done this before.
Apr. 16th, 2010 01:04 pm (UTC)
To take notes from Mel, I'd rather have bears than rats. They're cleaner, less aggressive, and less destructive.

If they're not just passing through - i.e. if we see that pair again - I'm going to police the property for all food items and start making it unpleasant for them. I'm not sure what the DEP's policy is - we're right on the edge of an almost 800 acre Wildlife Area, so it's distinctly possible that she's just one that they're tracking for information.

Just meeting another set of neighbors...
Apr. 16th, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC)
The rangers in Allegany Park move the bears along with an airhorn...seems to work pretty well. Maybe you should get an airhorn?
Apr. 16th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
It's a thought. I suspect that banging on a pot lid would have the same effect and annoy the neighbors less.
Apr. 16th, 2010 10:19 am (UTC)
You know what? Bears are better than chipmunks. They really are. We get bears fairly regularly (for bears) and all they do is mess up the garbage...they never touch the garden. I prefer them to munks, squillies, rabbits and groundhogs, definitely.

When we get a bear, dad just goes out and runs at it, yelling, and they go away quickly and meekly. I prefer not to have to try it, but I guess I would if Dad weren't around to do it. We had a customer run screaming at one that showed up in the perennial yard and it ran away super quick (probably thinking OMG A MAD HUMAN RUUUUUUUN!)
Apr. 16th, 2010 12:58 pm (UTC)
Black bears are generally pretty shy. My only concern is that with the human density around here, you will occasionally get ones that become acclimatized - those can be dangerous.

I just got my new shipment of snap traps for the chipmunks. :-)
Apr. 16th, 2010 11:27 am (UTC)
Wow. Just wow. I'm glad you didn't go outside to collect Cleo!
Apr. 16th, 2010 12:59 pm (UTC)
We've been known to take her home in the past. This time I think that would have frightened everyone if I had stepped outside. It certainly would have gotten very loud!
Apr. 16th, 2010 12:55 pm (UTC)
So, what caliber do you think? And I'll definitely put in a bid for the bearskin and claws.
Apr. 16th, 2010 01:00 pm (UTC)
Bigger than anything I've got!
Apr. 19th, 2010 03:22 pm (UTC)
Speaking as a beekeeper -- bears SUCK.

Several years ago, Rob had a bear knock over three beehives (one survived, I was up there alone so I gulped hard and worked the bees alone for the first time. Reassembling an angry hive is scary.) So we extended the electric fence we'd erected to keep deer out of grapevines.

Flash forward to Easter Sunday -- 5:30 am a bear showed up and bent down Mom's birdfeeder. Went after the can of seed but Victoria's toys clattered down and scared it away. Still in search of breakfast, it went up to the bees, pushed through the electric fence, and trashed the one hive that had made it through the winter.

Bears suck.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )