Bears spotted in West Greenwich, Exeter

For people who live in West Greenwich and Exeter, Monday was anything but ordinary.

According to a number of people, beginning at about 8 a.m., a hungry 200-pound black bear paid several residents a visit.

John Avizinis who has lived in Exeter for decades said he's never seen a bear quite as fearless of humans as the one he found in his backyard on Monday at 4 p.m.

"I've been having problems with the bird feeder recently. I thought it was raccoons or coyotes, or something, so I went out to check on it, but this time the steel pole (supporting the bird feeder) was completely bent to the ground. So I went up in the back, we have a couple of (chicken) coops and I took a look, and there was a bear. I stood only two or three feet from it, I'd say it was about one hundred and seventy five to two hundred pounds lying on his back, scratching himself with the suet cake feeder. He was just concentrating on lying on his back scratching himself, almost grooming himself with the sunflower seed and suet cake, a little weird," Avizinis said.

"So I went in the house and got the camera. I regretted not having it. And what's really stunned me the most, was that I thought that he would jump up and take off down the back path and move away (once I was out there), but when I went in and got the camera and memory card, and batteries, and I came back and there he was still there, rubbing himself. He's a mellow dude, he's not aggressive, if anything I'd expect him to just pop out the straw hat and cane," Avizinis laughed.

But John Avizinis wasn't the only one who found the bear laying around in his yard on Monday.

Paul Benoit was out in the woods behind his house in his car with friends when they spotted the bear.

"I was in my back yard and I looked down the trail, and the bear was like walking at me, so I took a few pictures, and he kept walking, so we had to drive out of the way, and he crossed into the woods," Benoit told NBC 10 News.

He added, "I was a little scared, because I opened the car door to see where it was going, and it was a little bit scary when we got out of the car at first, but he wasn't scared of the car at all."

And this isn't the only bear sighting Rhode Island residents have experienced recently.

On Friday the Town of Smithfield posted a photo of a bear that was recently spotted around the area, and this past winter NBC 10 News reported on a bear that was caught on surveillance tape patrolling the outdoor area near a local prison.