A bear sighting at Spaulding Elementary Wednesday morning sent summer camp kids scurrying into the school.
“The kids were on playground and someone spotted it,” said Susie Doran, school secretary. “We pulled everyone inside for the rest of the day.”
Suffield Police checked out the area but there was no sign of the bear when they arrived.
“It’s Suffield - we always have bears,” said Chief Michael Manzi. “There is a stream back behind the high school in that area and often times the bears will wander down from mountain when they are looking for food.”
A bear, perhaps the same one, also appeared near Poole Road checking out garbage cans yesterday. Police scared it away with lights and sirens.
According to Manzi, it was a “good-sized” black bear with tags from the Department of Environmental Protection. The DEP will often catch and tag bears causing a nuisance and then track their migratory patterns.
Manzi said the department has tried to reinforce good human habits that will keep the bears away. He recommends residents keep trash lids closed, don’t add extra bags that don’t fit, don’t leave bird feeders out for bears to get and don’t feed them anything at all on purpose.
“They are basically harmless unless you provoke them,” Manzi said.
One resident on Newgate Road did get a scare this season when she found a bear on the screened-in porch eating a bag of birdseed that had been left there. Police managed to scare him back into woods.
As for Spaulding, Doran said the kids are now on the lookout for the big furry creatures.
“I just keep saying: ‘what can you do but grin and bear it,’” she laughed.