NEWPORT CITY – Last Thursday evening, Sharon Dukett of St. Laurent Street heard her dog barking. When she started to look around, Dukett observed a bear behind her house. The bear came out of the woods and remained behind her house for about five minutes before retreating into the woods. Dukett estimated the bear was about waist high.
“The dog just kept barking and he (the bear) didn’t move,” said Dukett. “All I could think of was the kids all around here.” Dukett said she called the city police but they did not call her back. She said she wanted the police to tranquilize the bear and take it elsewhere.
Brad Mann, from the State Fish and Game Department, said he has not heard of any bear sightings but anyone who has problems needs to call the state police who will pass the information onto him.
Prior to the bear showing up, Dukett’s six-year-old grandson played with his friends in her yard.
This is not the first time Duckett has seen bears near her house. Three years ago she had the same problem. Dukett, who has a lot of apple trees around her home, said she has no problems with the deer that roam around her property. Property owners have to remove anything that bears can feed on 30 days before game wardens can do anything about the animals, Mann said. He said bears will “Take the easy route to get something to eat before they go the hard route.”
Mann cautions people not to interact with the bears or get in their way.
“They should remember it’s a wild animal and give it distance,” said Mann. “This is Vermont. It’s a state with a lot of wildlife. The only two things you got to do with a bear is to discourage it or, if it becomes a bad enough problem where it’s a risk to human life, is to put it down.”
However, it is illegal to discharge a firearm in Newport City.