At the end of March, a black bear has been repeatedly seen roaming throughout town. As the warmer weather approaches, police are anticipating additional bear sightings. Bird feeders, garbage, pet food and compost attract bears close to houses and people. Although aggression by bears towards humans is exceptionally rare, residents are reminded of the following tips provided by the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection:
- Do not leave bird, pet or livestock food outside overnight.
- Do not intentionally feed bears – they will become accustomed to finding food near your home, will repeatedly return, and may become a nuisance/problem.
- Keep BBQ grills clean and stored in a garage or shed after use. (Propane cylinders should be stored outside.)
- Keep your dogs on a leash or under control – a roaming dog may be perceived as a threat to a bear or its cubs.
- If you see a bear, enjoy it from a distance, and do not approach it or try to get closer to get a photo.
- When hiking, make your presence known to a bear by making noise and waving your arms.
- Back away slowly if you encounter and surprise a bear.
- Do not run or climb a tree – if possible, wait in a vehicle or a building until the bear leaves the area.
Any concerns can be reported directly to the Woodbridge Police at (203) 387-2511, to Woodbridge Animal Control at (203) 389-5991, or by calling “911” in the event of an emergency.
The CT DEEP monitors black bear activity statewide and routine sighting report forms and additional information can be found online at www.ct.gov/deep/blackbear.