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Lunenberg woman startled by hungry bear outside her window

A Lunenburg woman said she was practicing piano Friday morning when suddenly she felt like something was watching her.

“I just had a funny feeling,” said Judit Ernst, 42. “I couldn’t put my finger on it.”

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She turned toward the bay window in her bedroom only to see an 8-feet-tall black bear outside, face down in a barrel eating sunflower seeds.

“He was slurping up all of the seeds,” she said by telephone Monday. “And I had just filled it, too.”

Ernst did what most would do — she grabbed her cellphone and started snapping pictures.

“It was so cute,” she said. “He must have been hungry.”

The black bear was intent on staying, she said.

“I went on the porch and sternly told him to leave,” said Ernst. “But that didn’t do it. I had to stamp my feet at him and then finally he left.”

As the weather warms, more bears are coming out of hibernation, according to Marion E. Larson, chief information officer for Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

But there is a bit of good news — bear sightings tend to go down when there is more fresh green vegetation available for the animals in the wild, she said.

“At this point, they can find their own food,” said Larson in a telephone interview. “They don’t have to rely on our bird feeders.”

Still, the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife asks residents to remove or secure bird feeders, to put electrical fences around bee hives, and to protect crops and livestock.

“We don’t want to tempt them,” said Larson.

Though Ernst said she did not mind the unexpected visitor the first time around, she will pack up her seeds this summer.

“My kids bought me a new bird feeder for Mother’s Day,” said Ernst. “But I asked them to take it back.”

Jacqueline Tempera can be reached at jacqueline.tempera@globe.com. Follow her on twitter @jacktemp.
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