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Even Bears Like the Roses at Elizabeth Park, and Follow the Traffic Rules

A bear using the crosswalk in Elizabeth Park on Sunday, June 28. Photo credit: Bill Gleason (courtesy photo)

A West Hartford resident spied a bear – properly using the crosswalk – in Elizabeth Park Sunday morning.

By Ronni Newton

West Hartford resident Bill Gleason was visiting Elizabeth Park Sunday morning, camera in hand, taking some photos of the beautiful roses.

A frequent visitor to the park, he said he was on the street side of the small “hockey pond” around 8:15 a.m. when he heard a strange noise.

“There was a natural disturbance of birds behind me and when I turned, all of the ducks were hitting the water in the pond,” Gleason said in an email. “Not panicked, but definitely in a hurry and definitely all at once.”

He didn’t know what caused the ducks to behave that way.

“I spotted something dark in the thick grove of trees on the other side of the pond, and my first thought was ‘black lab off leash.’ The ducks were safe, there was no further commotion, and then a minute later I heard ‘OMG, there’s a bear,'” Gleason said. 

“And yes, there was, and as I turned the bear was crossing the street right by the pond. Just out for a walk like the rest of us and apparently obeys traffic signs as he/she did use the crosswalk.”  

Gleason said the bear “ambled through the parking lot,” and left Elizabeth Park headed toward Walbridge Road, apparently without stopping to smell the roses or enjoy the peak of the blooms.

He said two people walking their dogs reported that they had seen the bear earlier on Prospect Avenue, and someone on Walbridge reported seeing it after it left Elizabeth Park. 

“The bear remained calm, as did the perhaps 10 spectators, and we did enjoy swapping bear stories for a couple of minutes after the bear left,” Gleason said.

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