Adam 12

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(Photo by Wang He/Getty Images)

Happy New Year! You just found a hibernating black bear under the deck of your house. What the hell do you do?


I know, I know: DON’T WAKE IT UP! Obviously. This isn’t a hypothetical, though. This happened to a family in Plainville, Connecticut back on December 30. had the story, and it’s pretty wild:

On Dec. 30, Vinny Dashukewich and his girlfriend, Olivia Unwin, were playing with his 3-year-old pit bull, Cali, in his backyard in Plainville, Connecticut, when the dog began acting strangely, growling insistently near a raised outdoor deck.


OK, sure. Dogs will be dogs. They growl at stuff. They chase their own tails (not as much as cats, but still). They eat their own poop (not all the time, but still). Of course, when you’re outside and your dog starts growling at something hiding under your deck, you have to investigate:

Unwin yelled that she’d spotted a bear. Dashukewich didn’t believe it at first. He scanned the woods behind the house, which he shares with his parents and his sister Tyler but spotted no such animal. Then he locked eyes with a large black bear underneath the house’s elevated deck. The bear, fat and groggy, was nestled in a crawl space, stretched out on a bed of leaves and a tarp.


Here’s What a New England Family Did When They Found a Bear Under the Deck

So yeah, they didn’t wake it up. Good move. Instead, they posted a TikTok video, which has since gone viral. And they set the sleeping black bear up with its own Instagram account. As the Appalachian Mountain Club points out: warmer winters make for more bear encounters in the Northeast. “When in doubt keep your distance, talk in a calm voice, and slowly back away.”


And please, by no means give the bear a hug. The bear does not want a hug. The bear just wants to sleep.

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