AVON, Conn. (AP) — A hungry black bear barged into the garage of a Connecticut bakery, scared several employees and helped itself to 60 cupcakes before ambling away.
Workers at Taste by Spellbound in the town of Avon were loading cakes into a van for delivery on Wednesday when the bear showed up. There are between 1,000 and 1,200 black bears living in Connecticut, the state environmental agency says, with sightings last year in 158 of the state’s 169 towns and cities.
Bakery owner Miriam Stephens wrote in an Instagram post that she heard employee Maureen Williams "screaming bloody murder" and yelling that there was a bear in the garage.
Williams told TV station WTNH that she shouted to scare the bear off but it retreated and came back three times.
Williams said the bear charged at her so she backed out of the garage and ran.
Surveillance video obtained by WTNH shows bakery workers walking around the side of the business to try to scare the bear, but then running away after it scares them.
The video shows the bear dragging a container of cupcakes from the garage into the parking lot. Stephens said the bear ate 60 cupcakes.
A baker finally got the bear to leave by honking a car horn, Williams said.
The four-footed thief was gone by the time police and officers from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection arrived.
No one was injured in the encounter — one in a series of troubling interactions between black bears and humans in Connecticut.
A 74-year-old woman suffered bites to her arms and legs last month when she was attacked by a bear while walking her dog in a Hartford suburb, the first such attack this year. There were two attacks last year, including one in October where a 10-year-old boy was mauled in a backyard.
“The frequency and severity of bear-human interactions is increasing,” DEEP spokesperson Paul Copleman said Friday.
Statistics compiled by the department show that there were a record 67 reports of bears entering Connecticut homes in 2022. The previous record was 45 in 2020.
On Friday, a bear cub wandered into a neighborhood near downtown Hartford and climbed up a tree. Local residents were delighted and surprised, saying it was highly unusual for bears to come into the city. Police, animal control officers and state environmental authorities responded, creating a scene for several hours.
Authorities eventually tranquilized the young bear and planned to relocate it. Its destination was not disclosed.