Family of wild black bears moves into New Hampshire neighborhood

About a month ago, a family of wild black bears roamed into a quiet suburban neighborhood in North Conway, New Hampshire, and promptly made themselves right at home.

According to eye-witness reports, there’s a mother bear with four cubs who wander around visibly every day, wandering into people’s yards in search of food, sometimes even brazen enough to go onto porches, even when residents are yelling at them from inside their homes.

There’s also a father bear who acts in the same ways, but has only been spotted occasionally.

“They are walking around our small residential area with no fear whatsoever,” said Courtney Coffman, who lives in the neighborhood. “I’ve never seen anything like this, they don’t even run when you yell or anything.”

“It makes me nervous and worried, “Coffman continued, “I’d hate to see something bad happen. A lot of families with small children live around here.”

According to Coffman, the father bear is especially impressive, yet frightening.

“He is huge!” she explained. “Even on all fours he looked almost as tall as me. He must be 400 pounds. A couple of weeks ago he busted through our porch screen door and another evening he was walking through our yard.”

Coffman said that on May 6 she saw police officers in the neighborhood, but that they just told a group of teenagers to keep their distance from the bears because they had been trying to take selfies with the animals.

“I took my picture of them from my car, ” Coffman explained, “I would never get that close to them.”

This story may be updated.

Chris Shorr

About Chris Shorr

Chris is a sixth generation Portlander who loves all things Maine. He has worked with mentally ill and marginalized adults at a Portland non-profit, on a lobster boat in Casco Bay, at several high-end Portland restaurants, and at a local meat packing plant. He also ran for Portland City Council in 2013, wrote a weekly column in the now defunct Portland Daily Sun, and currently writes a weekly column in The Portland Phoenix.