Stunning Moment Family Finds Hibernating Bear Under Their Deck—and Lets Him Stay

“We feel like there’s no reason to move him.”

A family in Plainville, Connecticut, were taken aback to find a hibernating bear underneath their porch—and decided to let the "fat, groggy" creature stay put for the rest of the winter. Vinny Dashukewich, who lives in the house with his parents and sister Tyler, had no idea there was a bear under the deck until his dog alerted them to the tired trespasser. Here's why the Dashukewich family are letting the bear see out its hibernation under their house, plus incredible footage of the creature they've adorably named Marty Bearnard.

Dog Alarm


Vinny was out in his yard with his girlfriend, Olivia Unwin, and his 3-year-old pitbull puppy Cali when the dog started behaving strangely. According to Vinny, Cali wouldn't stop growling at the raised deck of the house, unusual for a pup who is usually calm.

There's a Bear!


Olivia soon realized Cali had a very good reason to be growling—she told Vinny she saw a bear. Vinny started scanning the woods behind the house, assuming that's where she saw the beast, before realizing there was a black bear having a nap underneath the deck. Keep reading to learn more and see the footage.

Super Comfortable


The bear was cuddled into a nest of leaves and tarp and seemed unbothered by the sudden attention it was receiving. "He was totally unfazed by everything," Vinny says. "As soon as we saw each other he didn't move, he didn't react. He's definitely super comfortable."

Stay Or Go?


The family contacted the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environment Protection who identified the animal as a male black bear. The family were told to scare the bear off with noise and stimulation if they felt uncomfortable about him sleeping under the house, or simply let him stay until hibernation was over in a few months. 

The Bear Can Stay


The family decided to let the bear stay. "He hasn't bothered us at all," Tyler says. "So we feel like there's no reason to move him." The bear has been named Marty Bearnard and now has his own Instagram account. "We're just going to keep checking on him and post updates for everyone," Tyler says, "because they seem pretty invested in him."

@thetrendytransparent #bears #newengland #bearsinct ♬ original sound – Tyler Dashukewich
Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
Filed Under