Bear has picnic in Marystown

An unwelcomed 400-pound visitor gave residents of a Marystown housing complex quite a scare.
Neighbours were rattled when a black bear showed up in their Marystown neighbourhood. (Submitted by Agnes Hipditch)

An unwelcomed visitor gave residents of a Marystown housing complex quite a scare Thursday morning.

A 400-pound black bear was first spotted going through garbage around 5 a.m.

Amy Drake was outside lighting a cigarette when she spotted the animal just a few feet away.

"He was right over there having a picnic ... sat on his little butt," she said. "So I went over, I was walking over. I thought it was just someone in a blanket, and he literally looked up at me."

Luckily for Drake, the bear was more interested in the garbage he was eating.

"Then he looked down and started chewing away at his garbage. Then he was just looking calm, like he didn't care," she said.

"I probably could have went up and touched him – he wouldn't have cared. But I wasn't going handy (to him)."

Drake returned safely to her apartment, but she said the bear kept munching on the trash for about 45 minutes, before dragging a bag of garbage up a hill toward the woods.

Jasmine Pierce said loose trash is a big problem in the area.

"There's just too much garbage. People don't pick up after themselves, and that's why we're bringing every animal that's in here," she said. "There should be a policy for the garbage truck to come twice a week to pick [it] up."

Joe Furlong, a conservation officer, went looking for the bear.

He said with all the garbage around the houses and up in the woods, the bear will likely return.

"Oh, he'll come back," said Furlong. "He's into the garbage now, so he's feeding. Unless a hunter gets him, 'cause hunting season's opened up for bears, too."

Furlong said he will set a trap for the bear in the woods behind the houses.