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DEEP says there were 3,200 bear sightings so farin 2020; 1,300 bobcats and 28 moose

“If you genuinely care about bears, you should never feed them – either intentionally or unintentionally.”
Credit: Casey Howes
Farmington bear sighting

FARMINGTON, Conn. — A dog in Casey Howes' neighborhood Tuesday scared a pair of bear cubs up a tree in his yard, leaving the mother bear with some alone time. 

Howes sent us a series of pictures of the mother bear going through a garbage bag and laying out on the lawn. 

This mama bear is not the only bear seen out and about. According to DEEP, the state's bear population continues to grow and expand. In 2019, there were approximately 7,300 bear sightings across the state. So far in 2020, there have been 3,200 bear sightings in Connecticut and primarily in towns west of the Connecticut River. 

There have been 1,300 bobcat sightings and 28 moose have been reported. 

You can see the locations of the sightings for each of the animals and report your own sightings here. 

“If you genuinely care about bears, you should never feed them – either intentionally or unintentionally,” Jenny Dickson, DEEP Wildlife Division Director, said in a release earlier this year. “Bears become habituated, losing their fear of humans, when attracted to homes by easily-accessible food sources. Such bears spend more time in neighborhoods and near people, increasing public safety concerns, the likelihood of property damage, and the possibility that the bears may be hit and killed by vehicles or meet with some other misfortune.”

According to DEEP, there are simple things people can do to avoid bear problems including not feeding them, taking down bird feeders, and storing garbage in a secure, airtight container. Experts add outdoor grills should be cleaned and stored.

Bears will also kill chickens, so coops should be sturdy and secure.

DEEP adds those with dogs should keep an eye on them while walking or hiking. A roaming dog may be perceived as a threat to a bear or its cubs.

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