It seems like every time you turn around there’s been another black bear sighting.
Black bears are becoming increasingly common in Connecticut as the population continues to grow and expand.
Reports of bear sightings, even in heavily populated residential areas, have been on the rise.
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) regularly posts updates about how many bears have been tracked in each town.
So far, Farmington takes the lead with 435 sightings.
Avon received 427 sightings.
According to the report, Bristol, Burlington, Canton, Litchfield, Granby, and Torrington received high bear sightings as well.
In total 7,526 black bears have been reported in Connecticut.
Most recently, a bear walked into a liquor store in Bristol and another bear broke into a car.
Many other bear sightings can be seen all over social media by individuals spotting them.
DEEP says bears should never be fed, either intentionally or accidentally.
Connecticut residents should take the following simple steps to avoid conflicts and problems with black bears:
Q. Why have we been seeing so many black bears lately?
• Black bears emerge from dens in March, April, and May, but maybe a little later this year due to the unseasonably cold spring
• They’re hungry and looking for food
• Also, late spring-early summer is mating season, so males are roaming for mates
• Most bears are still south of I-44 but the population seems to slowly be expanding and growing, so encounters are likely to increase as time goes by
• The Department of Conservation estimates about 350 black bears in Missouri
Q. What do people need to know if a bear is sighted in their area?
• Remove all temptations from the yard like bird feeders, outdoor pet foods, etc.
• Seal garbage or leave it in the garage until morning or pick up
• Clean grills or store in a secure garage or shed
• Do not feed bears!
• Bears quickly grow accustomed to getting or finding human-supplied food and become a nuisance
• This causes problems for humans and sometimes the bear must be destroyed
• Remember: a fed bear is a dead bear!
Q. What should you do if you encounter one hiking or while in camp?
• Remain calm; make the bear aware of your presence
• Make sure the bear has an escape route
• If a bear stands on its hind legs or moves closer, it may be trying to get a better view or detect smells in the air
• If the bear utters a series of huffs, snaps or pops its jaws, and swats the ground, you are too close and need to slowly back away
• Black bears will sometimes “bluff charge” when cornered, threatened or attempting to
steal food. Stand your ground and then slowly back away
• If a bear should attack, fight back aggressively – they are usually put off by a strong
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