Precautions being taken after bears spotted near West Hartford schools

Caution tape is set up in front of a trail near a West Hartford school (WFSB)

Parents in West Hartford are on edge after a bear keeps showing up where it's not supposed to be…near several schools in the area.

On Wednesday there had been no sightings of the bear, and people said the hope it stays that way, after the same animal has been seen wandering in the neighborhood over the past few days.

"It makes me nervous for the kids that walk through, and the school being right here,” said Laura Punt, of West Hartford.

Students at Bugbee Elementary School use a path every day to get to and from school, but on Wednesday yellow caution tape and cones were blocking off the trail after a bear was spotted in the woods on Tuesday.

"Of course I’m a little worried about if my child wanders off,” said Robin Blayer-Bulaong, of West Hartford.

It all started Monday, when the bear was spotted near Hall High School and Norfeldt Elementary School.

While West Hartford is no stranger to bear sightings, having the animal near schools is many are happy police have stepped up patrols in the area and that the path is closed.

"That's probably a good idea because the kids might get curious and want to get close or who knows,” said Beth Graywolf, of West Hartford.

"It might be inconvenient but it's the safest and the right thing to do,” Blayer-Bulaong said.

Officials with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection are warning people that if they see the bear to keep their distance and to get rid of food sources in their yard.

"Bears are on a constant search for food, especially (since) we're headed into fall and in winter they hibernate so they're building up their reserves of fat,” said DEEP spokesperson Dennis Schain.

DEEP said they will continue to monitor the situation and hope the bear eventually just stays in the woods.

The superintendent said the Bugbee school path will remain closed until further notice.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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