Westport police are warning residents to keep an eye out after several sightings of a bear, one of which included an encounter with someone gardening.
According to police, a man was outside gardening at a home on Highland Road Wednesday afternoon when the bear reportedly put a paw on him. The man was not hurt and the bear was not aggressive, police said.
The same bear was first spotted in a yard on Highland Road, and later spotted entering a sun porch at a home on Warnock Drive. By the time animal control arrived, the bear had already left the Warnock Drive home and was already outside sitting in the yard.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection responded to help track the bear, which was last seen heading toward Weston.
Police stressed that the bear was not acting aggressively during any of the sightings and the bear does not appear to be a threat.
They urge residents to take basic steps to limit bear encounters, including cleaning barbecues and grills after each use, avoiding leaving pet food outside and removing bird feeders from your property for the summer.
If you see a bear, do not approach it - that could make the animal feel trapped. Instead, report it to Westport Animal Control at (203) 341-5076 or to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection online here.