ENGLEE The Department of Natural Resources has begun bear patrols on Englee roads and properties as some longtime Englee residents say they have never seen so many instants of dangerous bear-human interactions.
Lifelong Englee resident Denise Randall said she’s getting them on the deck behind her house as the bears stumble around the town looking for food before their traditional hibernation.
“I’ve never seen it this bad; I’m losing sleep over it,” said Randall, who has a five-year-old daughter. “We’ve heard of bears pressing their noses up to people’s doors and coming in. I have glass patio doors in the back, so it’s become really scary.”
Englee resident Sharon Reid said there’s a lot of fear in the community right now.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in my life; they’re everywhere,” she said. “Some of the things the bears been doing is quite scary.”
She said stories have been circulating around the town of black bears seemingly doing anything they can to get to something edible. Entire roads have been littered with garbage and one resident had siding damage on his house when a bear slammed a garbage can against it. Another resident had a bear try and open her door with its nose and someone else had one actually come into his basement while he was working on a new piece of equipment. He made a loud noise and the bear backed out.
“I know of people who have been putting chairs and tables against their doors to keep the bears out,” said Reid. “Some people say they won’t hurt you but when they’re pushing against your doors it’s a bit much.”
Natural Resources issued a warning recently advising residents Englee and Roddickton to be aware of how they store garbage. Randall said it was not logical to store garbage indoors.
“We keep it outside to keep the smell out of our homes,” she said. “What’s scary is how smart they are, those bears will find it no matter what.”
The Department of Natural Resources say in a that residents need to remain calm when in contact with a bear, and to back away slowly, without running. Eye contact should be avoided and garbage and food should be removed.
Anyone who has spotted a bear should call 709-457-7243.