August 24, 2019
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A family gathered for a Fourth of July picnic in Aroostook County. Then black bears showed up.

Courtesy of Rebekah Robichaud
Courtesy of Rebekah Robichaud
A family had some extra guests at their Fourth of July picnic this year in St. David.

ST. DAVID, Maine — A Fourth of July family picnic in St. David was a bit more interesting than usual when a couple of black bears dropped by the home of Skip and Patti Fletcher.

The bears, one female and one very large male, were not entirely unexpected guests.

“Bears come through here quite often,” Patti Fletcher said. “Since we’ve lived here we see them often. We feed the birds in the winter. Of course, there are leftover seeds on the ground from winter and I think that’s what attracts them originally. We can’t have the feeder out there in the summer.”

Courtesy of Rebekah Robichaud
Courtesy of Rebekah Robichaud
A female black bear and a large male black bear dropped in on a family picnic up in St. David on the Fourth of July.

Among the human guests at the picnic were the Fletchers’ daughter Marsha Robichaud and son-in-law Jake Robichaud and their children from Fort Kent. The Robichauds’ 14-year-old daughter, Rebekah, photographed the bears from the safety of her grandparents’ home.

Fletcher said the bears who visit their property have so far been polite guests.

“They’ve never caused a problem,” she said. “In fact, we watch them from inside and if we open the window and say something they tear off.”

“Everyone says they more afraid of us than we are of them,” Fletcher added.

That being said, Fletcher pointed out that she and her family allow the bears their personal space when the come for a visit.

“We respect them, you know,” she said.

Still, one of the bears that visited on Independence Day concerned Fletcher.

“That huge male, he was scary. The head on him he was just massive. I’ve never seen such a big bear. If he would hang around much, we’d have to call someone to have him removed,” she said.

Courtesy of Rebekah Robichaud
Courtesy of Rebekah Robichaud
A family had some extra guests at their Fourth of July picnic this year in St. David.

Fletcher added that she would not want any harm to come to the bears and surmised that the male bear was most likely seeking out the female bear and will move on shortly.

“I doubt we’ll even see the male again,” she said.

Just two days after the picnic, on Saturday, Fletcher said a young bear that she guessed to be about 2 years old visited the property, followed later by a moose.

“This is bear country I guess,” she said. “We see a lot of animals. We enjoy it.”

This story was originally published in the Fiddlehead Focus.



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