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Bear roams Waterbury neighborhood

Neighbors were surprised to see a bear in the city, in a densely populated area.

WATERBURY, Conn. — It's not uncommon for people to see bears in their neighborhoods in Connecticut, but they're typically seen in more rural areas. That's why neighbors in Waterbury were shocked to see a bear in the city Wednesday afternoon.

"You don't expect a bear on Willow Street at 3 o'clock," said Shardenee Morgan. "There's literally only raccoons, that's the most we ever see."

RELATED: As bears get more aggressive, divide on how to handle them

A small black bear made its way to the area around Willow Street and Chestnut Avenue.

"We never really expected a bear because we don't really have woods," said Alexander Mendez.

Neighbors said it was the first time they had seen a bear in their backyards, and this one spent several hours there.

The Waterbury Police Department and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection were both on the scene keeping an eye on the animal and trying to get it out of the neighborhood.

"He climbed up that tree in like 2.2 seconds. I was flabbergasted but not surprised. He was just there, just standing his ground," Mendez said.

According to the DEEP, bears will often climb trees to avoid people. They ask people to not approach bears, or crowd around them, to not stress the animal out.

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The DEEP said there are some other do's and don'ts when it comes to bears near your home.

-Do remove birdfeeders from March through November

-Do place garbage cans inside a garage or shed if you can

-Do clean your grill

-Don't feed bears

-Don't leave pet food outside overnight 

-Don't try to get close to them if you see one

RELATED: With many bear sightings around the state, what to do if you encounter black bears

"I'm glad they let the bear come down and he went about his way," Mendez said.

Officers from Waterbury Police and the DEEP did stick around for some time to make sure that the bear got to a place that was safe for everyone.

Gaby Molina is a reporter and anchor at FOX61 News. She can be reached at mmolina@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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