CONNECTICUT, USA — Bear sightings on the rise again as the weather continues to warm up. Out of hibernation and in search of food, more and more folks have sent videos and pictures of bears.
So it’s an important reminder this time of year to be cautious of your surroundings. While the encounters and sightings may be unexpected and the bears fascinating to watch remember to keep your distance.
“One thing I definitely want to stress is that a number of human and bear encounters often happen involving a pet,” said DEEP Spokesperson Will Healey.
A tighter leash instead of letting your pets roam during a hike is something important to keep in mind. If you happen to encounter a bear DEEP suggests “remain calm, try to make loud noises to alert the bear to your presence most often the bear will run away because its frighten of you” said Healey
In a more residential setting make sure you’re not feeding the bears intentionally or unintentionally. Bring the bird feeders inside, store your trashcans somewhere secure and clean and store your grill as well. Spraying ammonia to the trash also could help with scent.
“If a bear becomes habituated with associating humans with food that’s definitely going to come a bad outcome for the bear. So it’s definitely important to keep our distance from us and the bear population,” said Heely
According to Healey while there is no official number the population is somewhere around 1200 black bears with the population growing 10%-15% each year. In addition, in years past frequent bear sightings were really held to NW Connecticut now that areas have expanded as far south as the shoreline.
Should you encounter or see a bear in a densely populated area you’re urged to call the DEEP Wildlife Division or their dispatch at 860-424-3333. For information, the DEEP has provided a list of resources here.
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