Be Bear Aware!

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Photo by Bill Schnabel

“All bears on deck” on Lakeview Drive.

There are many more bears in the vicinity in part because habitats are shrinking, but also because people provide food without realizing it. Once the bears are used to the food sources, they come back and can often cause problems for the entire neighborhood, causing property damage and sometimes threatening human or pet safety. Intentionally feeding bears is bad for the bears.

Some measures to take to avoid attracting bears.

1. Keep chickens and honeybees secure with an electric fence or other bear-proof enclosure.  

2. Bird feeders are the most common bear attractant. Feed birds only during the winter months from December through March.

3. Never feed bears deliberately.

4. Feed your pets indoors.

5. Clean outdoor grills after each use, including the grease trap underneath.

6. Store birdseed, pet food, livestock feed and biofuels, such as grease, indoors.

7. If you have livestock, dispose of animal carcasses immediately by burying or incinerating.

8. Dispose of garbage frequently and store in bear-proof containers.

If you see a bear, never approach it. Don’t try to get close to take video or a picture. Make enough noise so the bear is aware of your presence. If the bear doesn’t leave back away slowly. Never run or climb a tree. If the bear approaches, make more noise, wave your arms and throw objects at the bear. Black bears rarely attack humans, but if you are attacked, don’t play dead. Fight back with anything available.  

The CT DEEP encourages us to report bear sightings to

“A common misconception is that a tagged bear in Connecticut is a problem bear and a bear with two ear tags was caught on two different occasions because it was causing problems. Actually every bear receives two ear tags (one in each ear) the first time it is handled by DEEP, regardless of why it was tagged. Most bears have not been caught as problem bears, but rather as part of a project to research the state’s bear problem.”

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