PLAINVILLE, Conn. (WTNH) – A family discovered a black bear hibernating under the deck in their backyard. They’ve named it “Marty” and welcome it to stay, as long as the animal is a respectful tenant. 

About a week ago, Vincent Dashukewich and his girlfriend were outside with their dog when all of a sudden, the dog started growling at something near the pool in the backyard. When he went to see what caused the sound, Dashukewich would have never guessed a black bear would be starting right back at him. 

“I didn’t really have a thought, I was just kind of shocked. He was staring right at me. I didn’t know what to do, I just wanted to make sure my dog got inside safe,” he told News 8. 

Unlike the other bears he’d seen in their backyard, this bear wasn’t interested in returning to the forest. 

“He’s been super chill, I’ve gone out to check on him a few times and he’s hasn’t really moved. He’s looked at me a few times but he’s pretty calm right now,” Dashukewich said. 

Dashukewich’s sister Tyler posted a video of the bear on TikTok. As of Friday, the video has more than 12 million views and thousands of people have left comments, giving their advice. 

“They’re like go feed it, make him a pet. But I’m going to be realistic,” Tyler Dashukewich said. 

“It’s pretty divided so far, half the people are like this is the scariest thing ever and the other half are like, can you pet it, it looks so cuddly. So we’re trying to keep our distance but he is cute,” Dashukewich said.  

He says an employee with DEEP told him to let the bear be if it wasn’t causing issues and it’s likely the animal would leave by end of January. They told him if the bear was causing issues, blowing an air horn and flashing bright lights could get him to leave. If all that didn’t work, the agency told him they would come and remove the bear. 

DEEP says if you see a bear near your home, never approach or feed them. Bears will defend themselves if a person gets too close.  If a black bear does approach you, DEEP says to go on the offensive by shouting at it or waving your arms.