What a Wake Up Call — A Black Bear in the Neighborhood

One West Hartford family didn't expect to see a bear when they looked out their windows this weekend.

A bear on Longlane Road, West Hartford, June 28, 2014. Photo: Brennen Ravenberg.
A bear on Longlane Road, West Hartford, June 28, 2014. Photo: Brennen Ravenberg.

It was a typical early Saturday morning for the Ravenberg family of West Hartford ... well, it was until they spotted a black bear ambling across their neighbors' lawns.

"I was surprised .. there's not a lot of trees — it's a residential area, it's not a woodsy area," said mom Loan Ravenberg. "I kind of panicked and woke up my husband — he saw it and called the police," she said, adding she didn't need a cup of coffee to wake up after seeing the bear. 

Her 12-year-old son Brennen was upstairs and he was able to snap photos and a video of the beast the Ravenbergs said looked as though it weighed about 200 pounds.

"I was watching You Tube on my iPad and then looked outside to check the weather to see if I would have a baseball game today," Brennen Ravenberg said seeing the bear at 6:50 a.m. June 28. "It was walking around and stopping, then it went out in someone's backyard."

The bear was seen poking around the bushes in front of the house across the street from the Longlane Road home the Ravenbergs have lived for more than 10 years. The bear continued his morning jaunt through the neighbohood, rounding a corner near the Ravenbergs' home. The Ravenbergs reported seeing West Hartford Police drive through the area, although there's no word from police on what they may have seen.

It's not clear whether the bruin's appetite was sated as he was seen walking past curbside garbage cans and recycling bins — but then maybe it realized the garbage had been picked up the day before. "He was walking house to house. Amazingly, he didn't look at the garbage cans but then garbage pickup was yesterday," Loan Ravenberg said.

Keeping garbage cans indoors, along with pet and bird feeders, are just some of the suggestions state environmental officials say will deter bears from foraging in neighborhoods.

Bear sightings in Connecticut are increasing. On June 22, a black bear fatally attacked a Bloomfield family's pet dog. According to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, there have been 3,802 bear sightings reported between June 29, 2013 and June 26, 2014.
Bert Marchael June 29, 2014 at 04:44 AM
I wonder if it was a white bear in West Hartford if this would have been a story.
Geena Becker June 29, 2014 at 08:23 AM
The Bloomfield dog was not on leash and ran to the cubs and Mama bear. The dog is a herding collie type dog and has a big history in the neighborhood of running loose all of the time. Running on the road and chasing runners, etc. Keep your dogs on leash for their own sake.
Don Omar June 29, 2014 at 12:19 PM
If Malloy hadn't had taken away our guns we'd be able to defend ourselves from bears
brian kelly June 29, 2014 at 02:06 PM
he is so cute! i want one!


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