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Bear Facts Newsletter

DEP Removes Bear From Hamden Neighborhood

There were bird feeders to be had and garbage cans to investigate. You can't blame a bear for trying.

A 200-pound black bear browsed through a Hamden neighborhood, bringing residents out of their homes to catch a peek at the furry visitor. It was an unusual sight for this urban block.

"As the bear population increases, conflicts with humans are inevitable. However, many of these conflicts are preventable," said Dale May, Director of the DEP Wildlife Division. "Most problems occur when bears are attracted close to homes by human-provided food sources.

In this instance, the bear eventually climbed a tree, spurred on by barking dogs and rubber bullets from DEP officers. Officers tranquilized it and lowered it with ropes. It will be examined by the DEP and relocated. The agency said it does not normally tranquilize and relocate bears unless they are a nuisance or in a heavily populated area.

The DEP estimates the state's bear population to be at least 300 and growing. In 2006, more than 2,000 sightings of bears were reported from 125 of Connecticut's 169 towns. This year there have been more than 1,800 sightings. One town with 134 sightings alone. As the bears leave their winter dens, their natural foods are typically scarce this time of the year and as a result, they often wander into backyards where human-provided foods are sometimes plentiful.

"If bears find food rewards near homes, they can become habituated and lose their fear of humans," May said. "The best step in preventing problems with bears is to avoid intentionally or unintentionally feeding bears so that a healthy respect and distance is maintained between humans and bears."

More and more frequently we are hearing about bears sightings in residential areas. The DEP says that when bears are active during certain times of year, they emerge from their winter dens looking for food and mates. "Most problems occur when bears are attracted close to homes by human-provided food sources," said Dale May, director of the DEP wildlife division.

It is important to know what to do and what not to do if you find a bear in your neighborhood. First and for most keep away from the bear, stay indoors and contact your local DEP. If the bear can not find food, he will most likely leave peacefully to search elsewhere. If you find that bear sightings are becoming more frequent in your area, contact your local DEP to come and find the bear and relocate it to a more suitable, wooded area.

The DEP issued the following guidelines for avoiding run-ins with some of the state's roughly 300 bears:

  • Never intentionally feed bears to attract them.

  • Take down, clean, and put away birdfeeders by late March. Store the feeders until late fall. Clean up spilled seed below feeder stations.

  • Store garbage in secure, airtight containers inside a garage or storage area. Double bagging and the use of ammonia will reduce odors that attract bears.

  • Avoid leaving pet food or dishes outdoors at night.

  • Clean barbecue grills after use and store inside a garage or shed.

  • Avoid placing meat scraps or sweet foods in compost piles.

  • Protect beehives, livestock, and berry bushes from bears with electric fencing.

  • Keep dogs on a leash outdoors. A roaming dog might be perceived as a threat to a bear or its cubs.

The DEP wildlife division monitors the black bear population through sighting reports received from the public. Anyone who observes a black bear is encouraged to report the sighting on your state's DEP.

To help deter bears from coming into residential areas looking for food, Bearicuda, Inc offers a variety of bear proof garbage cans and enclosures. When bears are hungry and looking for food, more recently they are looking for food in residential areas, specifically trash cans. With our Bearicuda, Inc bear proof cans and enclosures, the bears simply can't get in and will eventually leave to go search for food elsewhere. If you have a bear problem in your area, check out our selection of bear proof garbage cans to see which one will be best for you.

Read a recent article about how Bearicuda, Inc Inc. has been helping homeowners to keep bears out of their backyards

Remember - always check with your local sanitation hauler before ordering to ensure that the can your choose will be compatible with your hauler's equipment.

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