Bear helps itself to a meal in the kitchen of a West Hartford home

Eyewitness News 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 1:35 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2022 at 3:13 PM EDT
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WEST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - A couple in West Hartford said they were surprised to find a black bear helping itself to a meal in their kitchen.

Christine Vannie shared video of the encounter with Channel 3.

Her post on social media went viral within the West Hartford community over the weekend.

A bear got into a home in West Hartford. Video was shared by Christine Vannies.

Vannie said she and her husband had just left their front yard to go to the back yard on Walker Lane when her husband went inside to grab a drink.

They had outdoor music playing, so they didn’t hear anything out of the ordinary.

However, Vannie’s husband found the bear eating in their kitchen.

“It took some convincing to get him to leave,” she wrote on social media. “I share this because most bears are shy and this one was not.”

Vannie said she contacted the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Bill Priest told Eyewitness News the bear made that break in yesterday, and then today that bear tried to get in the house again.

They said the bear ripped the screen from a door and when it couldn’t get in through the front, it made an attempt at their backdoor.

DEEP dropped off a trap. The department is going to try to catch the bear, sedate it, and then tag it.

“Normally when we’re home we have this door opened,” said Bill Priest, of West Hartford.

Just last week, Bill walked outside to find a bear going through the fridge in his garage.

“I was mad I was just really mad. Because I knew it was a lot of work for me,” said Bill.

He knew that wouldn’t be the last bear sighting from his West Hartford home, but he never expected the next one would be in his kitchen.

“I came in through that door and I got to the doorway and he was right there. When he saw me he ran over there,” Bill said. “He did startle me that was probably the one time I was scared.”

That’s when Bill grabbed a chair to put it in between him and the bear.

Bill noticed the bear really made himself comfortable, eating an entire bag of marshmallows and other snacks.

“He had everything on the floor in there eating,” Bill said.

He was able to get the bear out through the front door, but not even 24 hours later, the bear was back.

Monday morning, the bear tried to get in through the same way he left yesterday.

He even ripped the screen right from the door in an attempt to get inside.

When the bear couldn’t get in through the front, it made its way to the back.

“Right when I got here he was coming up onto the deck and he came up to the door and tried to push it open,” said Bill. “We’ve been having bears for years, but this is the first time they’ve ever done something that’s damaging to anything. So, I was mad I was really mad.”

The box inside the trap is filled with leftover donuts from Dunkin’. When the bear pulls at the trap the door will slam shut and lock it in.

Then DEEP will come and sedate the bear, grab some of its fur to figure out it’s age, before tagging the bear.

They’ll let it go right there and use hazing techniques to scare the bear away from the house.

Bear breaks into West Hartford home