West Hartford

West Hartford Homeowner Finds Bear in Home

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A homeowner in West Hartford had an unexpected surprise when he found a bear in his own kitchen Sunday. He had to chase the animal out, and he got it all on video.

Despite his best efforts, though, the bear returned Monday.

The homeowner told NBC Connecticut that he first saw the bear last week breaking into his garage refrigerator. At that point, he knew it would be back.

Fast forward to this week - the bear not only returned, but broke into his home.

Bill Priest said he came in from working outside Sunday morning around 11:30 when he found the bear inside and tried to usher it out. The bear reluctantly left - it didn't take anything and nothing was broken, but Priest was angry the bear got into his home in the first place.

"I mean, I don’t care, run around the yard all you want, but now you’ve crossed the line," Priest said.

He said the bear entered the home through the front door. The animal was undeterred by the screen door and easily broke it down.

Priest was able to chase the bear away this weekend but at 5:30 a.m. Monday, there was more noise at the front door.

"I thought it was my wife just checking out on the front taking a look around, but it turns out he [the bear] was here," Priest said.

The bear had returned. Priest contacted the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and a crew arrived at his home Monday afternoon to set up a trap to try and humanely capture the animal.

The incident is the latest in a rash of bear sightings that have become more common. In June, a bear was euthanized by DEEP officials after breaking into several Canton homes.

With the death of a Canton mama bear earlier this week, experts are talking about how to control aggressive black bears in Connecticut.

In the Walker Lake neighborhood, news spread quickly, but it wasn't unexpected for some folks.

"Well, it's scary but I guess not surprising. We see bears here all the time," Hoang Wood, of West Hartford, said.

"We've seen a lot of deer, bobcats and more. Recently, bears," Bob Fishman, of West Hartford, said.

Bears are becoming more and more common in West Hartford. In fact, this wasn't the only sighting in town Monday. Around 1:30 p.m., a home on Still Street had a bear break into its garage. The homeowner there said the bear was in his garage for 20 minutes.

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