By David F. Rooney
The last thing Sheryl Wolgram expected to see during the last big snowstorm about a week ago was a black bear mounting the steps to her porch; but there he was — as bold as brass.
“If I had opened the window, I could have reached out and touched him,” she said this past weekend.
Sheryl’s not alone. All over Lower Town people have been encountering what they’re describing as a well-fed, two-year-old black bear who seems to be not only hungry, but fearless of people and disinclined to hibernate like the rest of the black bears in the area.
“I saw him just the other night coming down the alley,” said Tim Boaz. “It was right by Mountain View and he was just barrelling along.”
It wasn’t the first time, he’s seen him either.
The bear has been all over Lower Town and parts of Upper Town from the court house to Mountain View School. Most often all people see are his prints but he has snagged more than one garbage can and has even tried to get into dumpsters.
“We see his prints in our back yard pretty regularly,” said Jackie Goodman who lives on the river bank at King and Front Streets.
She said the bear has been travelling along river back and then through her back yard to scout out the pickings around the dumpster by River’s Edge Apartments.
“You could tell from his prints that he was standing at the dumpster and trying to get into it,” she said. “He should be asleep but he seems driven by his hunger. I’m afraid that he’ll get into some one’s house.”
That has not happened yet, but we all know what happens to bears that lose their fear of people and barge into people’s homes.