Watch: Black bear drinks from hummingbird feeder
A bear — or bears — continue being spotted around town.
“He took his time drinking from my hummingbird feeder and went on his way,” Vittoria Quane of Seth Low Mountain Road said of a bear she saw the evening of June 2. “He was spotted all over Seth Low, and also got into other neighbors’ garbage. He was a treat to see.”
Quane got photographs and a video of the bear on her deck.
“He/she was smallish and appeared to be alone,” she said.
A bear was reported in the cozy small-lot neighborhood across Route 35 from the Rite Aide, according to First Selectman Rudy Marocni.
“On Hillsdale,” Marconi said.
The first selectman heard about the bear on Tuesday, June 9, but the Hillsdale Avenue who reported it said the bear had been spotted in the area a few days before — and he hadn’t seen it himself.
Marconi put the Hillsdale report in the contest of other bear sightings recently.
“We had one at Mimosa recently, one crossing Catoonah Street.”
The bear sighted on Catoonah — and a few other spots around the village — on May 26, when Megan Holbert got a photo of the bear crossing the street right in front of St. Mary’s Church, and Jared Moore got video. Police said they’d gotten four or five reports that morning.
Marconi said he’d reported the bear sightings to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), and recommended the bear information on the agency’s website.
“They’re pretty harmless. They try and stay away from people, unless you confront them head on,” Marconi said.
“Bang you pots and pans. Don’t leave garbage out. Don’t leave birdfeeders out. Their constant mission in life is searching for food, 24-7,” he said.
“A male will have about a 50 acres mile area, a female about 10 miles,” Marconi said. “The younger males, as they’re breaking away, may even have a bigger area.”
The DEEP told The Press after the May 26 sightings in town that relocation of bears isn’t the state’s general practice — waiting for them to wander off is the preferred solution.
“DEEP rarely relocates bears,” Will Healy of the DEEP said. “If they’re able to travel out of a developed area, we prefer to give them a chance to do so. Also, bears have a very strong homing instinct, so they’re likely to return to the same vicinity soon after they’re relocated.
“DEEP does attempt to move bears that get stuck in highly urban settings. We’re hopeful this bear was able to get out of town on its own. We encourage people who’ve seen a bear to report it to us.
“A link to the online form can be found here:
The DEEP reports that it has had close to 250 bear sightings reported in Connecticut so far this year.
Here are a few suggestions from DEEP for people who encounter bears.
“Observe it from a distance.
“Advertise your presence by shouting and waving your arms, or walk slowly away.
“Never attempt to feed or attract bears.”
The DEEP also offers some recommendations for ways to avoid attracting bears to the homes:
“Remove bird feeders from late March through November. If a bear visits a bird feeder in winter, remove the feeder.
“Wait until the morning of collection before bringing out trash. Add a few capfuls of ammonia to trash bags and garbage cans to mask food odors. Keep trash bags in a container with a tight lid and store in a garage or shed.
“Do not leave pet food outside overnight. Store livestock food in airtight containers.
“Do not put meats or sweet-smelling fruit rinds in compost piles. Lime can be sprinkled on the compost pile to reduce the smell and discourage bears.
“Thoroughly clean grills after use or store in a garage or shed.
“Never intentionally feed bears. Bears that associate food with people may become aggressive and dangerous. This may lead to personal injury, property damage, and the need to destroy problem animals.
“Encourage your neighbors to take similar precautions.
More information and precautions to take around black bears can be found at: ct.gov/DEEP/Wildlife/Fact-Sheets/Black-Bear.
The state also asks people to report bear sightings to the Wildlife Division, at 860-424-301.