JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — When Dennis Poirer III’s dad and stepmom arrived home Monday night, they were shocked to see a black bear in their front yard, rummaging through their garden.
The couple hurriedly ran into their Central Avenue home, trying not to attract too much attention. Poirer sent Eyewitness News cell phone video of the black bear climbing their bird feeders, ultimately smashing them into the ground.
Poirer’s father can be heard in the background of the video banging on the walls of their home to try and scare the bear away.
“All of these use to actually be all the way up there,” Poirer said as he pointed to the metal posts that used to stick out straight and are now bent at the base. “I can’t imagine bending that by myself unless I am hanging from it.”
“I’ve never seen a bear in Rhode Island,” he joked.
Poirer called the Johnston Police Department to report the bear sighting. The department then sent a warning to residents that the bear may still be in the area.
“It’s not to scare or hurt the bear,” Poirer said. “It’s just to let everyone know.”
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) offered several reminders for people to be “bear aware” after another bear was spotted in West Greenwich last month.
Here is a list of tips the DEM recommends residents follow:
- Removing bird feeders by early April and waiting until early November to put them up back up.
- Refraining from feeding pets outside, or if you do, taking pet food dishes inside at night.
- Storing birdseed, livestock feed, and garbage in buildings.
- Taking garbage out for pickup on the morning of the collection – not the night before.
- Keeping barbecue grills clean of grease. Do not put meat or sweet food scraps in your compost pile.
- Using electric fencing around chicken coops, beehives, rabbit hutches, and livestock pens.
- Moving livestock into barns at night.
- Above all, DO NOT FEED BEARS. These are wild animals. An adult male typically weighs between 150 and 450 pounds, while females generally weigh between 100 and 250 pounds.
Anyone who sees another bear is asked to report the sighting to the Johnston Police Department or the DEM.
Poirer said his family will not let their dogs off-leash for the time being, but he isn’t too concerned.
“As as it’s a black bear taking berries, I am not worried about it,” he said.