Black bear sightings are common in Connecticut, especially for hikers and campers. These bears have been known to also wander into residential areas and neighborhoods at times. Carter Mario wants to ensure you are informed to prevent personal injury to Connecticut's human and bear residents alike.
On June 25, there were two separate police reports of black bear sightings in residential areas near the Merritt Parkway. The bear did not appear to act aggressively. Bear attacks are far less common than sightings.
Black bears are typically fearful of humans but particularly interested in our trash. They can smell pet food, fruit trees, compost piles, bird feeders, and household garbage. If they regularly raid trashcans they can quickly lose their fear of humans and become more aggressive. For these reasons, it is important not to leave trash or food outside at night. 2-1-1 Connecticut recommends storing and cooking food away from your tent site and thoroughly clean grills after cooking on them. You should keep trash in a bear safe container or inside a garage. You can also add ammonia to household trash to prevent bears from being attracted to it. You should not leave any type of pet or bird food outside at night.
All hunters in the area should take hunting safety measures. Such measures include avoiding areas with fresh bear tracks, making noise to alert bears of your presence, and most importantly try to avoid bears as much as possible. The most important tip to remember is to never attempt to feed any bear no matter how nice it may seem. They are wild animals and by nature can quickly turn aggressive if they feel threatened. Feeding them can also make bears become less fearful of humans causing them to frequent residential areas even more. This may eventually result in relocation or even extermination.
What To Do If Encountered
According to FoxCT News, the DEEP highly recommends that you never try to attract a bear's attention or try to feed them. It is important to make your presence known by raising your arms so that you appear taller, shouting, and waving your arms. DEEP then advises you slowly walk away. If the bear seems aggressive, 2-1-1 Connecticut advises waiting in a vehicle or building rather than climbing a tree to escape a nearby bear.
It is very important to keep pet dogs on a leash because a wondering pet can be perceived as a threat to a bear. Always report bear sightings to help the Connecticut Wildlife Division maintain a safe environment for humans and bears.