Bothersome bear damages cars in Island Pond - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Bothersome bear damages cars in Island Pond

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Gina Okeefe, who lives in Island Pond, says she's had to bear with the same problem for more than a year.

"A brown bear," she said.

This bear is Okeefe's nightly visitor.

"Big one. Geez, he was this tall on all fours, so can't imagine if he stands," she said.

The bear has done some damage to her car, but she's worried about more than property damage.

"My big concern and hoping that he moves along is my neighbors saw him at 2 o'clock the other day where the kids play, and you have the older kids around at night; this is a kids' place," she said.

Okeefe is not the only one on the block bothered by this bear. Apparently the bear has been poking around other people's property as well. Experts at Vermont Fish and Wildlife say that this type of bear behavior is unusual.

"It's extremely unusual. We get a couple of bears a year that cause some human risk factors where they're breaking into people's barns, chicken coops and houses, but it's places where they're getting food or people are feeding them one way or another. But I've never heard of a bear stomping on cars," said Mark Scott of Vt. Fish and Wildlife.

Scott says bears are usually sniffing around for food.

This is not the first bear incident in the state. Last week, a family in Plainfield found a bear on the patio and shared their video with us. Vermont Fish and Wildlife officials say if there is a bear in your neighborhood, bring possible food sources like birdseed or garbage inside.

"Bears at this time of the year they live by their stomachs, and they have tremendous sense of smell; they can smell food from a long ways away," Scott said.

Okeefe says she used to have some food in the car, but no more. She and her neighbors hope now that the long winter is over the bear will move on and try to fill its belly somewhere else.

"Definitely won’t keep McDonald's in my car anymore," Okeefe said.

Okeefe says the bear seems not to be an aggressive one and has not actually harmed anyone. Vermont Fish and Wildlife experts say even though bears are usually afraid of people, residents should never attempt to approach bears.

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