News Alert: Bear breaks into house in Weston

Bear tears screen and pries window open

A bear tore through a screen in an enclosed porch and pried open a window to get inside a Weston home. — Mark Harper photo

A bear tore through a screen in an enclosed porch and pried open a window to get inside a Weston home. — Mark Harper photo

A homeowner on Treadwell Lane in Weston learned the hard way that black bears have a good sense of smell.

Weston Animal Control Officer Mark Harper reported on Tuesday that a black bear broke into a residence on Treadwell Lane over the weekend searching for food.

To get inside, the bear tore through screens inside an enclosed porch and then pried open a window. The bear got out before anyone saw or heard it, or before more substantial damage was done to the home.

Initially, Harper said, the homeowner thought maybe a raccoon had gotten inside, but there were footprints matching a bear’s as well as bear fur and paw prints on the window, leading to the conclusion the intruder was a bear. “Luckily, it probably got scared and ran out,” Harper said.

The bear likely broke into the house to get food, Harper said. The homeowner, a bird enthusiast, has 10 outside bird feeders, some which are filled with suet for birds like woodpeckers. The homeowner stores the suet inside the house. “Bears have an incredible sense of smell. They can smell food right through your house and windows,” Harper said.

For the past few days, the suet put inside the bird feeders at the home was disappearing quickly, once within the course of an hour, Harper said. So the homeowner decided to store the suet inside the house at night. “Suet is like candy to bears,” Harper said.

Upon Harper’s urging, the homeowner is taking down his bird feeders for the summer.

“If people want to keep the bears away, they need to stop feeding birds right now,” Harper said. “Feed them during the winter when they need it the most, but not now. Bears are hungry and are attracted to bird feeders,” Harper said.

In another incident last week, Harper said a bear was spotted at a home eating at a bird feeder on Old Hyde Road behind Weston public schools. Harper went to the home and was able to chase the bear away.

Since this spring, a number of black bears have been spotted throughout Weston.

To keep bears away, residents are urged to keep their garbage safely locked up and bring bird feeders inside. In Weston in past years, bears have destroyed garbage cans and beehives and have climbed onto porches to tear down bird feeders searching for food.

Bird feeders filled with suet attracted a bear to a home on Treadwell Lane in Weston. — Mark Harper photo

Bird feeders filled with suet attracted a bear to a home on Treadwell Lane in Weston. — Mark Harper photo

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