DARIEN, Conn. – A black bear wandered onto the back deck of a home on Partridge Lane on Thursday night, Darien police said.
Police officers and the Animal Control officer responded to the home at about 8 p.m. and saw the bear eating from bird feeders that were mounted on or near the back deck.
The bear appeared to be 2 years old and weighed 90 and 125 pounds, police said. After a short time, the bear left the property with a bird feeder in its mouth and climbed a nearby tree.
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was called, but the bear had left the property before they arrived. The bear was last seen in the area of Sedgwick Avenue.
DEEP officers explained that bear sightings are becoming more and more common in Connecticut, police said. A black bear was also sighted in New Canaan earlier this week.
“As the population continues to increase, we can expect that more bears, particularly young bears, will be seen near homes and in residential areas similar to Darien,” police said. “Interactions between humans and bears are also expected to increase.”
Residents should learn what to do if they see a bear and know how to avoid unnecessary conflict by keeping food away from bears, police said. If you see a bear, you should enjoy it from a distance, advertise your presence by shouting and waving your arms or walk away slowly, and never attempt to feed or attract bears, police said. Removing food attractants such as bird feeders reduces the chance that bears will go near homes.
The DEEP seldom relocate bears, police said. An exception may be made if a bear is in an urban location when there is little likelihood that it can leave safely on its own and if 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 police officers and DEEP to a bear sighting depends on the specifics of each situation, and the mere presence of a bear does not necessitate its removal. In most cases the bear will make its way to a more natural habitat if left alone.
“As bears become more regular residents of Connecticut towns, it is important that people learn to adapt to the presence of bears and take measure to avoid damage and problems,” police said. “If people do not take precautions, problem behavior by bears an increase, possibly leading to bears being removed or destroyed.”
You can report bear sightings to the DEEP’s Wildlife Division online or by calling 860-675-8130. For more information on the Connecticut bear population and measures to avoid attracting bears, visit the DEEP’s website.
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