Editor's Note: If you have seen a black bear in Connecticut, you can use this form to report your sighting to the DEEP's Wildlife Division. If you need immediate assistance concerning a black bear, you should call the DEEP's 24-hour hotline at 860-424-3333.
Bear B-1, the female yearling that has been frequenting the shoreline, was not trapped this past week, according to Connecticut Wildlife Biologist Paul Rego.
Rego said Friday afternoon that he had no reports of the bear being trapped. The state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP), which has oversight on this, said they would issue a report over the weekend if the bear is trapped.
Madison Animal Control Officer Fran Fellows said the bear has recently been sighted in Madison, Clinton, Killingworth and Guilford. Selectman Joe MacDougald, who is acting first selectman since First Selectman Fillmore McPherson was out of town until recently serving as a delegate to the Republican National Convention, has been monitoring the situation and has conferred with Madison Police Chief Jack Drumm about it, he said Friday.
Fellows has been tracking reports about the bear, and conferring with the state DEEP, which will determine what is to be done about the bear.
Traps set after bear exhibits aggressive behavior towards humans
Traps were set in the area Bear B-1 has been seen in North Madison. She recently charged a homeowner on County Road, and another homeowner on Genesee Lane reported that it appeared she bluff charged him when he was trying to remove a bird feeder from his yard.
A North Madison homeowner reported to the town that Bear B-1 stood on her hind legs and growled when the homeowner was trying to take out the garbage.
A homeowner on Durham Road in North Madison reported in the comment section of a story on Bear B-1 that, "B1 ran down the hill at me husband after he attempted to scare her away by blowing the car horn. After she chased him into the car, she walked right up to our house. It was obvious then and earlier when she and I noticed each other outside, that she had no fear of us. I'm not typically an alarmist, but I have three young children and I am not comfortable with that bear's behavior."
"I noticed she was almost completely unafraid of humans"
A homeowner on Suffolk Drive, off of County Road in North Madison reported that the bear appeared to observe a party at her pool, from behind a fence, then came back after everyone left and went for a swim in the pool, tried out the hammock, and chewed on some swim floaties. The bear later visited the yard again, when the homeowner was in the yard with her children. The bear was so quiet she did not know the bear was there until her children alerted her to that.
Another homeowner, in the comment section of a story about Bear B-1 said, "This bear has been in my backyard about four times this summer. Each time I saw him, I noticed [s]he was almost completely unafraid of humans. Too bad for [her], we are the ones who will eventually do [her] in. I can only say without any hesitation, that this bear is not aggressive. [She] is only hungry and curious. [She] never caused me or my wife to fear for our lives, instead we became cautious and took down our bird feeders. I sincerely hope that this lovely creature is relocated, and not killed. I agree that [s]he should not be near our yards, but he is young enough and tame enough to easily trap and move to where [s]he won't cause any harm. Please don't Euthanize [her]."
Tube type trap will not harm bear
That sentiment, along with many others, have been expressed about the bear, whose behavior is being evaluated by Connecticut bear experts at the state DEEP to determine, if she is trapped, what to do. One option is to engage in averse conditioning in an attempt to make her shy of humans. Another option, if the state feels her behavior indicates she is a danger to humans, is to euthanize her.
Rego has said that the DEEP decided to try to trap the bear after hearing reports about it and viewing a video of the bear charging a homeowner who was trying to shoo it from his yard.
WTNH reports that the trap is a tube-type trap that will not hurt the bear if she is caught.
Stay away from the bear, make sure there is nothing enticing in yard
Officials have recommended that homeowners stay away from the bear, secure their garbage, empty their bird feeders, and make sure there is nothing enticing in their yard to attract the bear.
Some homeowners have purchased air horns, which can be purchased at WalMart in Guilford and West Marine in Old Saybrook, to scare the bear away if she approaches.
Shouting at the bear, talking at it, and throwing things at Bear B-1--tactics that North Madison homeowners have used to shoo past bears--have proven to be ineffective with B-1, according to Madison Patch readers. Some of those tactics appear to have prompted the charging, according to reports from those readers.
Some efforts at relocation appear to have been successful, according to these links sent by a Madison Patch reader.
- This report from courant.com says a bear found in populated area of eastern Connecticut was relocated to northeastern Connecticut.
- Here is a story about a 225-lb female bear that underwent aversive training and was relocated, unsuccessfully, and then had to be euthanized in 2002 in Goshen, CT.
Patch reader AA sent the following via email:
"Hopefully B1 + North Madison neighbors make it through the Labor Day weekend in harmony. On a “lighter” touch … http://www.cnn.com/video/?hpt=hp_t3#/video/us/2012/08/31/dnt-meatball-the-bear.kfmb-kcal-kcbs ... "