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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673
802-496-3928
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The bears are awake and moving

To The Editor:

This letter is addressed to neighbors and Mad River Valley community.

This is a friendly reminder to bring in birdfeeders and anything else that would entice a newly awakened, hungry black bear and one perhaps with cubs. Last Thursday evening I saw my neighbors' ski home lit up and a car in the driveway we share. A little later I heard a noise outside and my dog began to bark. I thought perhaps the neighbors had come over to say hi or borrow something.

I opened the mudroom door to the deck walkway to my house and there was no one there at the door. The dog was still barking so I let him out. He froze with his fur standing up. I went out thinking maybe he didn't know the neighbors. There, right in his nose on the deck was a big black animal, about four feet away from me. It took about a millisecond to see that it wasn't a big black dog but a bear and I immediately flew back into the house.

I then realized that the dog was still out there on the deck. I gingerly peered out and both were gone. I was terrified that the dog had been clawed. The bear was so close that I could also have been clawed. Luckily, my dog came running back unscathed from the woods a few minutes later, which is the good part of the story. The bad part of the story is that it was a scary situation for me, my dog and I'm sure for the bear, too, who was just looking for food and the nice bog across the street. It could have been avoided if I had just taken down the feeder once the weather began to warm up. Moose are also coming down. Let's all be diligent and careful for ourselves and our beautiful four-legged and winged friends.

Kim Hopper

Fayston

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