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The Fate Of Bear B-1? Still Uncertain As Of Early Wednesday ...

State wildlife biologist Paul Rego and Madison Animal Control Officer Fran Fellows said they do not have any reports overnight of Bear B-1 being captured. The bear has been sighted recently in Madison, Clinton, Killingworth and Guilford.

 

There were no reports overnight of Bear B-1 being captured, according to Paul Rego, a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection.

Madison Animal Control Officer Fran Fellows said Wednesday around 11 a.m. that she has heard no reports of the bear being captured either.

Madison 911 issued an alert yesterday, asking residents of North Madison and the surrounding area to be careful around Bear B-1, who has been acting increasingly bold around humans.

Charging homeowners, standing on her hind legs and growling

On Tuesday, on County Road who was startled to see the bear outside his house while working, and then started taking video of the bear. Over the weekend, she made a bluff charge at another North Madison homeowner on Genesee Lane. And, she recently stood on her hind legs and growled at a North Madison homeowner who was taking out the garbage.

Madison Animal Control Officer Fran Fellows said the bear has recently been sighted in Madison, Clinton, Killingworth and Guilford. The bear originally was tagged in Windsor about a year and a half ago, she said. State DEEP officials think she is a girl bear just under two years old, which means she is just about to come of breeding age, Fellows said.

"That means she will probably be breeding this winter," Fellows said.

Fate of the bear uncertain, will depend in part if she is deemed a threat to people

Fellows said she did not know what the fate of the bear will be, that her job is to report bear sightings and any unusual bear activity to the state DEEP, which has a staff of wildlife experts.

Rego, one of those experts, said Tuesday that the DEEP, did decide to try to trap the bear after the report and video Tuesday of B-1 charging the homeowner.

If they are able to trap the bear, he said, the DEEP will determine what to do next. Options might include giving he bear "averse conditioning" training that would make her shy of humans, and then releasing her. Another option, if the DEEP determines that she is a danger to humans, would be to euthanize her, he said.

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.

As to what will happen with B-1, who has elicited a wide range of emotions from North Madison residents, from affection to fear, that remains to be seen.

Some efforts at relocation appear to have been successful, according to these links sent by a Madison Patch reader. 

Matt August 29, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I think there is a good chance she doesn't really mean any harm to people. Up until yesterday, her behavior wasn't endangering anyone. But now there are three separate instances of her chasing people, including one on video. This isn't just a nuisance to bird feeders anymore. It is extremely abnormal for black bears anywhere. It is a dangerous situation for her and for people. DEEP has to do something to protect the people and protect the bear. If DEEP ignores this, I guarantee it will end badly for her. When she wants to play with a car and gets hit, she will be badly injured and have to be put down. When she actually jumps up on a person who can't just close a door to protect themselves, that person will be injured. Once that happens, she will have to be put down. If she decides to chase/play/charge at a person who is armed, that person may have to protect themselves. She will end up being killed in self-defense, even if her intent was not to harm the person. If she presents a situation where people are in danger (picture a bunch of kids waiting for the bus...) and the police respond, the police may have no choice but to shoot. It's not like they carry tranquilizer rifles. And again, she may not intend any harm, but there is no way to avoid it. No matter how you cut it, it will be bad for her. If DEEP captures her, plan A is to train and relocate her. She can go on living a long life without any of this craziness. Nobody making the decisions WANTS to kill her.
Pem McNerney (Editor) August 29, 2012 at 05:19 PM
I was encouraged by the two stories that seem to indicate that relocation can sometimes be successful. It's true no one wants to kill her.
Carrie Leber August 30, 2012 at 02:32 PM
please DEEP, don't kill the bear - I'm sure you can find another solution

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