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Bear breaking into Canton area homes euthanized; surviving cubs relocated

DEEP decided to euthanize the bear "for the safety of the public." One of the four cubs found did not survive.

CANTON, Conn — A large female black bear was euthanized after several recent reports of it breaking into homes in the Canton area, including an attempt and a break-in on Monday, according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

DEEP was called to an address on North Mountain Road in Canton on Monday for a report of a bear trying to break into a home.

RELATED: How to report a black bear, wildlife sighting in Connecticut

The bear was trying to get in through the front door and then tried to break a window, EnCon police said. The homeowner was home at the time and tried to scare the bear away by ringing a bell, they told EnCon. The homeowner's dog was also barking. Both noises did not deter the bear, officials said.

The bear eventually retreated and was gone by the time officers arrived at the home.

EnCon was later called to a home on East Hill Road, just 400 yards from the previous call three hours prior. The property owners had returned home and discovered that a bear had broken a window and ransacked the kitchen.

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Officers found the bear at the edge of the property with some food it took from the home. The bear showed no signs of fear of people, which is not typical behavior of a wild bear, environmental officials said.

DEEP decided to euthanize the bear "for the safety of the public."

RELATED: Orphaned bear cubs settle into new home at wildlife facility

Officials have previously set up traps to try to capture the bear, but the bear did not enter those traps. Colonel Chris Lewis said they had hazed the black bear this weekend after it got into a storage shed.

The department also investigated previous reports from the past few weeks of a bear with four cubs in the area breaking into homes; officials determined it is the same bear from Monday's incidents.  

The bear broke into Landon Miner's family home twice last week. The high school junior said it got in Wednesday by prying open a window and then again on Thursday through the back door. 

She encountered it in the kitchen.

"I was just getting out of the shower and I was home alone and I walked out of the bathroom. There was a giant 300-pound bear in the kitchen just eating all the food," she said. "It just growled and then I just turned around and ran away."

She hid in the bathroom for over an hour. She says bears come to the property all the time but have never tried to enter the home.

"Generally speaking, bears do not want to be around people," Colonel Lewis said. "The problem comes when bears become habituated to people. They look to people as a food source and they get comfortable around them."

Four six-month-old cubs were found in a nearby tree, and one of them died during the relocation process, environmental officials said. Colonel Lewis says they are unsure why the cub did not wake up after being tranquilized. He said it could have been an adverse reaction to the drug.

"Anytime you tranquilize any animal, there’s always that risk that it could go bad," he said.

He said they used specialized equipment to tranquilize animals and these are common practices across the country.

"I feel really bad because I feel like it was just hungry," Miner said of the mother bear. "It was definitely an issue. It didn’t hurt me but it definitely could have hurt someone."

The three remaining cubs were relocated to a habitat where they can forage for food in nature. Lewis says they are at an age where they can live on their own and feared the mother was teaching them bad behaviors. 

DEEP continues to remind the public to refrain from feeding and approaching bears.

Tony Black is a multi-media journalist at FOX61 News. He can be reached at tblack@fox61.com. Follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Leah Myers is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at lmyers@fox61.com

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