190530ind Bear

A woman gardening in Narragansett came face-to-face with a black bear that roamed onto her property Tuesday afternoon off Old Boston Neck Road.

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. — A black bear got a little too close for one woman’s liking and even tried to open the door of a car she got into while trying to stay safe from the roaming visitor.

It happened Tuesday in a yard off Old Boston Neck Road near Camp Varnum, police said. It was the second sighting of the same bear in two days, according to police. On Memorial Day, a black bear was spotted in the north end of town near Bridgetown Road.

“This was quite a unique instance,” Narragansett animal control said. “However, it still serves as a reminder that these are wild animals that can move at a quick pace.”

Animal control said the bear could have smelled food nearby, or might be a mother bear acting protective of cubs.

According to animal control, the woman was gardening Tuesday afternoon in a yard near the wildlife refuge when the bear came onto the property.

Not having access to the house, she got into her car and was able to lock all the doors, but not before the bear tried to open her passenger side door, according to reports.

The woman called 911 and a nearby animal control officer and police responded.

“When we arrived the bear was on the hood of her car,” animal control said. “We positioned our vehicles between the residential direction and brushy area hoping to move it along towards the brush and we were successful.”

The woman, identified in news reports as Brenda McCloskey of South Kingstown, stayed calm and took photos of the bear with her phone. The photos were taken after all the car doors were locked and the bear was startled off the hood of the car, animal control said.

“If a bear is sighted do not approach it,” police said. “Head to a safe area and contact your local police department. You may also contact the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Law Enforcement division at 401-222-3070.”

DEM also offered the following tips about minimizing bear encounters:

Remove bird feeders by early April and wait until early November to put them up back up.  

Refrain from feeding pets outside, or if you do, take pet food dishes inside at night.

Refrain from feeding pets outside, or if you do, take pet food dishes inside at night.

Store birdseed, livestock feed and garbage in buildings.

Take garbage out for pickup on the morning of the collection – not the night before.

Keep barbecue grills clean of grease. Do not put meat or sweet food scraps in your compost pile.

Use electric fencing around chicken coops, beehives, rabbit hutches and livestock pens.

Move livestock into barns at night.

Above all, do not feed bears.

DEM said it wasn’t planning to relocate the bear, and that the animals typically wander off on their own.

“Yes, it’s ‘cool,’ but it is a bear, a wild animal. If sighted please secure yourself as quickly as possible,” animal control said.

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