Connecticut is home to over a thousand black bears, so seeing one is not uncommon. However, during the winter months the bears hibernate and are usually out of sight.
But that isn’t always the way it goes.
Bears will hibernate in dens or any other semi-enclosed space they can find, like under decks and porches.
A couple of weeks ago, one family was surprised when their dog alerted them to a sleeping black bear under their deck.
Vincent Dashukewich recalled the moment his dog discovered the bear to local news WFSB. “My dog started growling that’s when my girlfriend you know, got scared and ran to the house and I turned my head and saw the bear and we were staring right at each other so, it’s pretty crazy,” he said. “He’s massive but he’s super chill he hasn’t really done much so far.”
After the initial shock wore off, Dashukewich contacted the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) who advised him to “leave him be”.
In a viral video shared by Dashukewich, the bear lifted his head which surprised many people who thought black bears went into a deep sleep.
According to DEEP, “Black bears are not classified as true hibernators but their body temperature is lowered and heart rate slowed during winter denning.” They can and will wake up if disturbed.
The family decided to welcome their guest by naming him Marty. The sleepy bear now has his own TikTok which features a few videos. Marty will remain there until mid-March, when bears typically emerge from hibernation.
Hi I’m Marty the Bear. Happy New Year !!
As black bear populations increase in Connecticut, residents and visitors are advised to take precautions and learn how to coexist peacefully with the bears.
DEEP urges people to keep their distance and to never feed the bears. Black bears are not typically aggressive towards humans and will do their best to avoid them. If a bear is sighted near a home, officials will not intervene unless it is absolutely necessary.
“The mere presence of a bear does not necessitate its removal. In most cases, if left alone, the bear will make its way to a more natural habitat. Removing food attractants, such as bird feeders, reduces the chance that bears will go near homes,” states DEEP.
Dashukewich is taking their advice and allowing Marty to finish his five-month nap under his deck in peace.