Two days after we shared this article on black bear sightings increasing in Connecticut, a West Hartford woman woke up on Saturday morning to see a black bear ambling across a neighbor’s yard.
Below are tips and reminders from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, on the do’s and don’ts when it comes to bears.
When at Home
Bears are attracted to the garbage, pet food, compost piles, fruit trees and birdfeeders around houses.
- Do remove birdfeeders and bird food from late March through November.
- Do eliminate food attractants by placing garbage cans inside a garage or shed. Add ammonia to trash to make it unpalatable.
- Do clean and store grills away after use.
- Don’t intentionally feed bears. Bears that become accustomed to finding food near your home may become "problem" bears.
- Don’t leave pet food outside overnight.
- Don’t add meat or sweets to a compost pile.
Bears normally leave an area once they’ve sensed a human. If you see a bear, enjoy it from a distance. Aggression by bears towards humans is exceptionally rare.
- Do make your presence known by making noise and waving your arms if you see a bear while hiking.
- Do keep dogs on a leash and under control. A roaming dog might be perceived as a threat to a bear or its cubs.
- Do walk away slowly if you surprise a bear nearby.
- Don’t cook food near your tent or store food inside your tent. Instead, keep food in a secure vehicle or use rope to suspend it between two trees.
- Don’t climb a tree, but wait in a vehicle or building for the bear to leave an area.
When Working with Livestock or Beehives
Bears occasionally attack livestock and damage beehives.
- Do protect livestock with electric fencing and move livestock into barns at night if possible.
- Do reinforce beehives to prevent them from being knocked over or protect them with electric fencing.
How to Report a Black Bear Sighting
If you see a black bear, the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection offers a report form you can fill out online.
Click here to fill out the form or bookmark it in case you see a black bear.
If you need immediate assistance concerning a black bear, you may call the DEEP's 24-hour hotline at 860-424-3333.