A resident of High Wood Road in West Hartford found a bear inside his den Friday morning.
By Ronni Newton
Updated, July 24, 2016
West Hartford resident Jeff Grody, who found a bear in the den of his home at 11o High Wood Rd. home Friday morning, said that the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) contacted him after Friday morning’s incident and planned to place a bear trap in his yard that afternoon.
The trap is in place, and visible from the street.
“I decided to have some fun with it,” Grody said in an email, and added the above sign.
“I hope the bear can read!” he said.
West Hartford Police responded to a report of an intruder Friday morning – of the large, furry variety.
At 9:56 a.m., police said they received word of an animal complaint from Jeff Grody of 110 High Wood Rd.
“I was working from home, sitting at the kitchen table,” Grody said in a phone interview. He said there was one other person in the house, who was in front of him, but he heard a noise behind him.
Grody said that he opened the door from the kitchen into the den and received quite a shock. “Ten feet away there was a big, black bear!” he said.
Grody immediately shut the door, went outside, and called 911. Although he didn’t see the bear leave, police said a neighbor reported that they saw it run away.
The bear entered the home by pushing in a screen door. “It nicely decided to leave without damaging anything,” Grody said, other than the screen which was pushed out when the bear apparently exited through the same route.
“There was no damage. All of our picnic baskets were accounted for,” said Grody, who thought the incident was exciting. “It’s really not a big deal. We love bears,” he said.
Grody’s home in the north end of West Hartford is near Avon Mountain, and he said although he’s seen bears in his yard at least once a year over the past 10 years, the sightings have picked up dramatically. There have been five or six over the past year, including the one he photographed on April 22, and one in late June.
“But they’ve never come in the house before,” he said. Grody said in this case, he didn’t think it was prudent to try to get a photo of the bear.
“I have no idea what attracted the bear into the house. There was no food cooking, no food out,” he said.
He couldn’t see a tag on the bar, and thinks it’s likely that Friday’s bear was the same bear that was in his yard back in April, right outside a window drinking from a small ornamental pond. “It may have decided to explore indoors,” he said.
Friday was trash removal day in the neighborhood, Grody said.
West Hartford Police Animal Control Officer Karen Jones and officers Leigh Cogle, Ryan Riley, and Dan Bedford responded to the call. Because Grody did not see the bear leave, they checked the house to make sure it was not still inside, and that there were no other bears on the premises.
“There was no other damage to the house and, to everyone’s knowledge, [the bear] did not eat any food or sleep in anyone’s bed!” police said in an incident report.
The bear did drink the nectar from a hummingbird feeder that was in the backyard, police said.
Just last week a West Hartford homeowner who lives off Mountain Road found a bear taking a dip in her pool.
Bear sightings have become increasingly common in West Hartford, not just in heavily-wooded neighborhoods. For more information about bears in West Hartford, what to do if you see a bear, and when to contact DEEP, click here.
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