More bears reported on the prowl in town
Updated 4:50 am, Tuesday, July 28, 2015
A walk on the wild side Friday morning delayed Barbara Ross-Innamorati’s trip from town to New York City.
As she was getting ready to leave, her husband, who was having breakfast around 7:30 a.m., looked up from the table and was more than a little surprised to see what had wandered onto the back deck of their Charcoal Hill Commons home.
“There was a bear at the bird feeder,” she said, adding the animal was standing on its hind legs to get at the seed in a bird feeder.
“The bear then went to another bird feeder before stopping to gaze out into the backyard ... He didn’t seem to be in any hurry,” said Ross-Innamorati, who noted that she had spent three years working at Yellowstone National Park. “I know a little about how to react to them,” she explained.
In all, she estimates the bear was at her back deck for about seven minutes. "He was lumbering there before walking down the stairs," she said.
When her husband called her to come downstairs to see what was outside, Ross-Innamorati thought it might be a buck or coyote, not a bear. “But there he was, plain as day,” she said, adding the animal looked like it weighed about 50 pounds. “It was the freakiest thing.”
Ross-Innamorati, who took a series of photos of the bear, said she also called police to report the incident and added people in the area should take precautions with young children and pets.
The incident was one of two bear sightings reported Friday in the Charcoal Hill and Easton roads sections of town — heavily wooded areas — the second instance of the animals reported on the prowl through Westport in the last month.
Police said the bears kept moving, and no confrontations or injuries were reported.
In late June, two bear sightings were reported on the same day in the northern section of town near the Merritt Parkway.
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection recommends people keep their distance from bears, and either slowly walk away or announce their presence by shouting and waving arms. No one should attempt to feed the bears, and sightings can be reported to 1-860-675-8130.
The DEEP website also says that “experience has shown that a single, wandering bear can be responsible for numerous sightings to the Wildlife Division.” The probability of a bear attacking a human is low, according to the state agency. Therefore, the DEEP website says, the mere presence of a bear doesn’t automatically necessitate its removal.