A New Brunswick family and their close encounter with a backyard bear

Click to play video: 'Fredericton family has close encounter with bear' Fredericton family has close encounter with bear
A Fredericton family had an unusually-close encounter with a bear. They’re now hoping for a safe resolution for themselves and the bear. Callum Smith reports. – May 6, 2021

A Fredericton woman is trying to warn her neighbours, after a bear got up close and personal at her family’s Lincoln Heights home.

Brittany Fawcett says she was sleeping with her seven-week-old son in the bedroom earlier this week, when her husband caught the bear on their deck.

“I was very shocked to say the least,” she said.

Read more: Wayward bear tranquilized after nearly wandering into downtown Vancouver

Her husband captured video of the bear enjoying a treat from their birdfeeder and appearing to be quite comfortable in doing so.

The family shared the video on social media to alert their neighbours.

Fawcett says bear sightings have become more commonplace in the past few years.

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“I think that is mainly due to the large development that is happening in our neighbourhood, which is unfortunate for a lot of wildlife as they are being forced out of their homes and ultimately into the backyard of my home,” she said.

“We certainly want to protect our (pet dog) and of course our children, and right now, I don’t feel comfortable having my child out in the backyard, (who is) two and a half years old playing with a ball because I can’t be assured that this bear is not going to be somewhere near.”

The Department of Natural Resources says it has received two calls of sightings in the general area, but because there was no property damage or safety issue identified, no trap was deployed.

Click to play video: 'Black bear found wandering on train tracks near downtown Vancouver' Black bear found wandering on train tracks near downtown Vancouver
Black bear found wandering on train tracks near downtown Vancouver – May 5, 2021

The department says bear reports are frequent in the spring, and most of the time, the bears are eating garbage or stealing from birdfeeders. Usually, it’s young bears that haven’t reached breeding age or established a home range.

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Often when the food source is removed, the bears will leave, according to the department.

Fawcett says while she’s concerned for safety, she also doesn’t want the animals harmed.

“I don’t want these animals to be hurt or harmed. Relocated could be a possibility,” she said.

“We really can’t be cohabitating with them where we’re a risk to them and they ultimately fear us as a risk to them.”

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