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Carroll Township couple calls cops on bear

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This black bear was spotted Saturday in the yard of a Carroll Township residence.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
 

Alyse Atkins was on the couch in her living room watching TV around midnight Saturday when she heard a rattle coming from the vicinity of her front porch.

“I thought, ‘Oh, great, raccoons got into my garbage cans again,” said Atkins, who lives at 135 Greenridge Drive, Carroll Township.

But when Atkins looked out her window, she received a surprise.

“I saw this big black thing,” Atkins said. “Then I said, ‘It's a bear! There's a bear on my porch!'”

Atkins awakened her fiancé, Wil Abel, and they carefully opened the door a crack to get a better look at the bear. The animal stayed on her porch, attracted to the contents of the trash cans.

The couple called Washington County 911, and Carroll Township police arrived soon after. When the headlights from the police cruiser shined on the bear, it ran into the backyard.

Additional headlights from a Monongahela police car dispatched to the scene caused the bear to head into the nearby woods.

“It was scary, but it was really neat, too,” Atkins said. “I'd never seen a bear before.”

The couple, who own five acres at their residence, has seen turkeys and raccoons and even heard a coyote in the distance. But the bear's visit was a first for them.

Atkins said she should have realized something was awry when her 10-month-old black Labrador retriever began barking. She said the dog has never reacted to other animals in the yard.

“My dog started barking and going crazy,” Atkins said. “Sometimes, I hear raccoons in the back of our yard, and she does not seem to care.”

The bear has not returned since the weekend. Atkins said she has taken precautions since the encounter.

“I moved our garbage cans and locked them in the garage,” she said. “I won't let my dog outside past 9, when it gets dark.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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