HARTFORD, Conn. — It seems like black bears are being spotted all around Connecticut these days, even in the summer heat.
If you see one, your first instinct may be to take out your phone to snap a picture or shoot some video. After that, there's an important step that can help the state track the growing black bear population.
In recent years, there have been thousands of reports of sightings to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), with big increases in suburbs surrounding cities like Hartford.
In 2021 alone, there were nearly 8,600 black bear sightings in 156 Connecticut towns.
So far this year, more than 3,500 sightings have been reported in Connecticut.
DEEP's Wildlife Division has been conducting a long-term study of the state's growing black bear population. Some bears have been marked with ear tags and GPS collars as part of the research.
Sighting reports provide important insight into the population throughout the state and their interaction with humans.
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