Residents are reporting bears walking around their yards. We had a reader send in a picture of a bear on lower Plains Road, and there was a post on Higganum Facebook page about a bear on Saybrook Road near the center of Higganum.
From the CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, here is advice on what to do about a bear near your home:
According to the DEEP, “The bear population is healthy and increasing in Connecticut and sightings have become more common. Bears spend time in neighborhoods because food sources are abundant and easy to access (birdfeeders, garbage, open compost, grills, etc.). ”
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: Bears are attracted to garbage, pet food, compost piles, fruit trees, and birdfeeders.
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 in a garage or shed after use. (Propane cylinders should be stored outside.)
DON’T intentionally feed bears. Bears that become accustomed to finding food near your home may become “problem” bears.
DON’T approach or try to get closer to a bear to get a photo or video.
DON’T leave pet food outside overnight.
DON’T add meat or sweets to a compost pile.
If a bear is seen in your town or neighborhood, leave it alone. In most situations, if left alone and given an avenue for escape, the bear will usually wander back into more secluded areas. Keep dogs under control. Stay away from the bear and advise others to do the same. Do not approach the bear so as to take a photo or video. Often a bear will climb a tree to avoid people. A crowd of bystanders will only stress the bear and also add the risk that the bear will be chased into traffic or the crowd of people.
To report a Black Bear sighting, please go to the DEEP website.
Photo by E. Munster, photo by M. Steinhilper.