Shortly before 8 p.m. on Thursday, Darien Police Officers along with the animal control officer responded to a Partridge Lane residence on the report of a black bear on the rear deck. Officers arrived and observed the bear which appeared to be approximately two years old and weighing between 90-125 lbs. The animal was eating from bird feeders that were mounted on or near the deck. After a short time, the bear left the property with a bird feeder in its mouth and subsequently climbed a nearby tree. The CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was contacted and responded however the animal had left the area prior to their arrival. The bear was last seen in the area of Sedgwick Ave.
Bears have also recently been spotted in Wilton and New Canaan.
Responding DEEP officers explained that bear sightings are becoming more and more common in Connecticut. As the population continues to increase, it is expected that more bears, particularly young bears, will be seen near homes and in residential areas similar to Darien. Interactions between humans and bears are also expected to increase. People should learn what to do if they see a bear and how to avoid unnecessary conflicts by keeping food away from bears.
Removing food attractants, such as bird feeders, reduces the chance that bears will go near homes. The DEEP rarely relocates bears. An exception may be made to remove a bear in an urban location when there is little likelihood that it can leave safely on its own and when the bear is in a position where it can be safely immobilized. DEEP Tranquilizing Teams are trained and equipped to immobilize wildlife.
The response by the Darien Police and DEEP to a bear sighting will depend on the specifics of each situation. The mere presence of a bear does not necessitate its removal. In most cases, if left alone, the bear will make its way to a more natural habitat.
As bears become more regular residents of Connecticut towns, it is important that people learn to adapt to the presence of bears and take measures to avoid damage and problems. If people do not take precautions, problem behavior by bears can increase, possibly leading to bears being removed or destroyed.
If you see a bear:
- Enjoy it from a distance.
- Advertise your presence by shouting and waving your arms or walk slowly away.
- Never attempt to feed or attract bears.
Report bear sightings to the Wildlife Division, at (860) 675-8130.
For more information about the Connecticut bear population and measures to take to avoid attracting bears, visit: www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2723&q=325968&depNav_GID=1655