Black Bear Population Increases

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There has been a lot of talk in town with the warmer weather coming in, having more frequent interactions with our resident Black Bear population. There were nearing thirty calls for service between May and June of this year that had dealt specifically with problem bears.

Wildlife encounters can be a very beautiful and exhilarating experience. Just remember that when dealing with Black Bears, their behaviors can be wild and unpredictable. Please do your part in helping us keep them wild. Bears become accustomed to coming in near contact with humans when we leave them with the means and available food sources to do so. A bear’s sense of smell is seven times greater than that of a Bloodhound! So please, remove your bird feeders, move your trash receptacles to the inside of your garage or lock the lids and add ammonia as a further deterrent. Bears are going to continue to be opportunistic eaters, and whether purposely or mistakenly feeding these bears, it isn’t aiding in their survival in our ecosystem. If possible, when done using your outdoor grill make sure you clean the grates and drip trays, or store it in a shed or garage until your next use after disconnecting your propane tank outdoors.

Suffield is filled with areas of outdoor recreation and farms in residential areas. If you encounter a Black Bear while out enjoying our great outdoors, just remember to be mindful and that your probability of a bear encounter has increased. If you’re going to be hiking or biking, please try and go in numbers. Make noise while you are out there, keep your pets leashed and close by. For purposes of livestock, be proactive! If you can, surround your livestock and/or areas of bee hives with electric fencing to prevent the bears from being able to go inside. If a bear does happen to close the space between the both of you, be aggressive toward the bear. Yell, throw objects, and make yourself to appear larger than you are (using a garment to make your size appear larger). In the very rare chance that a black bear attack does happen, don’t play dead. Fight back with everything you have.

If you do see bears around your area that are more than “just passing through,” you can call Suffield Animal Control at (860) 668-3870. We would be more than happy to help them along. Keeping these bears wild and away from humans is what’s going to keep them safe as well.

If calling Animal Control, please help keep us safe as well. If you call us out for service, do your part by staying indoors while we try to get these bears into a safer area. Bears will typically look for an avenue of escape when coming into contact with humans. If they feel threatened or cornered, that is when there is a heightened risk for a bear to act in an erratic or aggressive manner. Thank you all for helping us help you. Please visit us on our Facebook page at

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