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Updated: Bear B-1 Caught And Killed After Being Deemed "A Problem Bear"

Two videos posted on YouTube show Bear B-1 eating while people are nearby, talking at her.

 

Update:

At 3 p.m. on Monday, two YouTube videos were added to this story that show people in Madison talking with Bear B-1 as she was eating. Warning, one of the videos includes profanity.


Also, this is the press release from the Madison Police Department, in its entirety:

The nuisance bear that had been the subject of recent complaints in the area of County Rd/Suffolk Drive has been successfully captured. The bear is now in the custody of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

The release also has been posted with this story. After this release, Bear B-1 was shot and killed by the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) after being taken to Burlington, CT. See story below for additional details.

Original story:

Bear B-1, both feared and beloved in Madison, the town where she made her home in recent months, was trapped in North Madison, tranquilized and then euthanized Sunday evening.

She was trapped in a tube trap in a neighborhood off of Durham Road in North Madison, on Sunday. The Madison animal control officer was alerted, and then she let the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) know the bear had been trapped, said Dwayne Gardner, a spokesman for the CT DEEP.

Gardner said B-1 was killed because she was considered by wildlife experts familiar with the behavior of Connecticut black bears, as a "problem bear." While the DEEP has received many reports about the bear, a recent video that showed her charging a homeowner in his backyard contributed to the decision that the bear was dangerous, Gardner said.

Unconfirmed reports that someone might have been feeding bear

Gardner also said the DEEP has heard reports that someone might have been deliberately feeding the bear. He said he did not know why someone might have been feeding the bear. But he said the reports, if true, mean that someone's misguided efforts to help the bear may have contributed to her demise.

"We don't know for sure," he said. "We heard reports. They were unconfirmed. I have no idea why someone would have been feeding it. We heard it was someone in Madison."

Gardner said that kind of behavior, feeding wild animals, is totally discouraged by wildlife experts.

"It's the worst thing you can do"

"Absolutely discouraged," he said. "It's the worst thing you can do. If you love bears, if you love wildlife, the worst thing you can do is feed them. It only will end up costing them in the end."

Gardner said just one trap was set last week and that it ultimately proved successful in luring the bear, and trapping her. After DEEP was notified by the town's animal control officer that the bear had been trapped, DEEP went to the scene and tranquilized the bear by shooting her.

B-1 was then taken to the DEEP's wildlife management area in Burlington and shot and killed. "We euthanize it there," Gardner said.

Bear B-1's behavior was unusual from the start

Gardner said a necropsy would be done on the bear to determine its weight, other characteristics, and that state of her health when she was killed. Gardner said the bear was a female bear, about a year and a half years old.

State wildlife experts had said that one option for Bear B-1 included subjecting her to "averse conditioning" and then re-releasing her within a 10-mile radius of where she was caught. However, this was a bear that was already unusual for a female bear in the wide range of territory she covered.

She was originally tagged near Windsor and recently was seen in Guilford, Clinton, Killingworth, and Madison.

"They're not going to want one of our problem bears"

So, Gardner said, if she was released within a 10-mile radius she likely would have made her way back to the territory where she was making her home.

As to why she wasn't captured and released further away, Gardner said "we try to keep them close to the habitat they are used to."

"Plus, other states have enough bears of their own," he said. "They're not going to want one of our problem bears."

Multiple homeowners report abnormal behavior from Bear B-1

In addition to the report from the 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 my 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.

B-1 only bear to be euthanized this year

Bear B-1's behavior was unusual, and deemed dangerous by state wildlife experts.

Gardner says, in general only about one or two bears a year, of the hundreds of bears in Connecticut, are considered dangerous enough to be trapped and relocated and/or euthanized.

He said B-1 is the only bear that has been euthanized by the DEEP this year.

 

This is the press release issued by CT DEEP:

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection today trapped and euthanized a black bear in Madison that had been demonstrating aggressive behavior toward humans.

The most recent incident occurred on August 28 when the bear charged at a homeowner who was watching and filming the bear through an open window in his home.

This bear had been seen frequently in the Madison area over the last few weeks and had been the source of numerous complaints received by local animal control officials and the DEEP leading up to the incident on August 28.

DEEP had also received unconfirmed reports that at least one resident had been intentionally feeding the bear.

When a bear is intentionally or unintentionally fed, it begins to associate food with people and loses its fear of humans.

The bear population in Connecticut continues to grow and expand.

The population is currently estimated at approximately 500 bears, increasing the need for people to know how to prevent problems.  In 2011, the DEEP received nearly 3,000 bear sighting reports from 122 of Connecticut’s 169 towns.

The DEEP encourages residents to take the following simple steps to avoid problems with black bears:

• NEVER feed bears.• Take down, clean, and put away birdfeeders by late March.  Store the feeders until late fall.  Clean up spilled seed from the ground.• Store garbage in secure, airtight containers inside a garage or storage area.  Double bagging and adding ammonia to cans and bags will reduce odors that attract bears.  Periodically clean garbage cans with ammonia to reduce residual odor.  Garbage for pickup should be put outside the morning of collection and not the night before.• Avoid leaving pet food outdoors at night.• Keep barbecue grills clean. Store grills 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.• Supervise dogs at all times when outside.  Keep dogs on a leash when walking and hiking.  A roaming dog might be perceived as a threat to a bear or its cubs.


It is important to remember that although black bears regularly travel near houses, they are rarely aggressive toward humans and can usually be frightened away by making loud noises, throwing sticks, or spraying with a garden hose.  In the rare instance when a bear appears to be aggressive toward people, residents should contact the DEEP Wildlife Division’s Sessions Woods office at

860-675-8130 (Mon.-Fri. from 8:30 AM-4:30 PM) or the DEEP’s 24-hour dispatch line (860-424-3333) during weekends and non-business hours.

Bear sightings reported by the public provide valuable information to assist the DEEP Wildlife Division in monitoring the black bear population.  Anyone who observes a black bear in Connecticut is encouraged to report the sighting on the DEEP’s Web site.

Natalie Jarnstedt September 04, 2012 at 01:47 AM
I'm sure that people are grateful for the "removal" of black bear B-1 - but that did NOT have to include killing her, did it - that's why so many are outraged at such typical disregard for wildlife!~
kathy drews September 04, 2012 at 02:55 AM
As the Madison turns.
William Lenahan September 04, 2012 at 03:30 AM
It's sad that they killed the bear and it would have been better if they had moved it some place else, but people hunt and kill bears all the time. It was aggressive and could have killed a kid or peoples pets so something had to be done. Life isn't a Disney movie, everything isn't always pleasing so deal with it.
B. Verene September 04, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Everyone calm down. Pem appropriately reported the story. She had nothing to do with the decision to euthanize the bear. It was DEEP. If you have a problem with how they handled it, contact them. Not everything on the internet has to become a high school fight.
Pem McNerney (Editor) September 04, 2012 at 04:00 AM
AA, the Madison Police Department release is now posted with the story. The DEEP release is a the bottom of the story.
Pem McNerney (Editor) September 04, 2012 at 04:06 AM
@ Adrian Wisting ... might want to go back and reread your Hamlet. You are misquoting Gertrude, methinks.
Pem McNerney (Editor) September 04, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Comments remain on moderation. Additional comments, if any, will be sent through in the a.m.
JillP September 04, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Pem is reporting the facts; if you don't like them, she is not to blame. In fact, her reasoned responses to so many utterly misguided outbursts are among the most sane words to be found in this comments section.
Treasanne September 04, 2012 at 11:18 AM
Of course, some videos showed households that had LOADED bird feeders, despite warnings from the town over the years not to hang a bird feeder during the summer months. I blame those who fed the bear and those who taunted her by speaking to her. That bear didn't stand a chance. I also find it hard to believe that my previous posting was deleted, when all I did was report what was already on an existing video that was one your site. I did nothing but state the facts as they occurred -- no embellishments, no commentary. This was my first posting, but I am beginning to see how things work.
Rachel September 04, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Well said, William!
Ellie Gillespie September 04, 2012 at 01:19 PM
This is not wildlife managment to let the bear run amuck for weeks and then kill it, amid allegations that people were feeding it intentionally or unintentionally (birdfeeders and petfood). I am really disappointed in the DEEP!
michele mackenzie September 04, 2012 at 01:29 PM
If it were Disney we would not have KILLED the bear....Again, the bear was NOT aggressive at all......It was HUNGRY and TRUSTING....Of course I am totally against "hunting" but this wasn't a hunt...this was a roundup and a killing...Humans take over the earth and destroy anything in their way...The rainforests, the forests....we think we are some superior being that is entitled!!...I am really sorry for this little bear...DEEP took the gutless, easy way out.......Wonder if the bears head is going to be a trophy on someones wall. SHAME
Jim Burris September 04, 2012 at 01:38 PM
This is disturbing. It is an interesting study in cause and effect. You have someone, who in an attempt to get an "interesting” video, clearly antagonizes this bear in to approaching, all with the intent of getting their performance on television. You have a news organization (WTNH) who, in a desperate attempt to get ratings and viewers, pushed an agenda of aggression that clearly was not there. Again very disturbing, you should all be ashamed at the rolls you played in killing this animal!
michele mackenzie September 04, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Nice letter Jim! Very nice letter....They should all be ashamed of themselves! I do not know anyone on here--I do not know Paula but I feel she said the same thing Jim said-she was more emotional, but I feel it was a very emotional event..I also have to try very hard not come across attacking individuals because my heart gets very involved with this kind stupidity and needless killing!! I understood Paulas', mine and everyones frustration on here...And know I know there was NEVER a plan to relocate this amazing little bear! I agree--Shame on all involved!
Wren September 04, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I never understand why people have to blame others for their own failings. The inflamed hysteria promoted by the animal rights folks is just so misplaced. DEEP wildlife staff are all trained biologists. They have done the field work and deal with a bureaucracy that is slanted towards human safety and lawsuits. That's the reality. I didn't see the bear, but again, the people who fed this bear were the cause of its demise. The newspaper had no role in the death of this bear, except maybe now, some will take their feeders down, clean their grills and lock up their garbage. Connecticut is a small state, heavily forested and heavily populated. State open space lands are compromised by heavy human use year round. You will find yourselves dealing with nature much closer than you want to. Learn how to do it, Heed advisories, do not avert your eyes if your neighbor is doing something stupid, tell them or report them. Talk to your town officials and legislator. Invite a DEEP official to talk about wildlife/human impacts. Let the Animal Rights folks hold another program for their view. That's more productive than nasty shaming on a local news blog.
Wren September 04, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Precisely Ms McKenzie - this is not a Disney movie, this is reality. Only in Disney movies do you find wild feral predators 'trusting'. The one thing we can agree on is the sad fact that humans have taken over the world and are in the process of ruining it. And, I will betcha quite a bit of $ that the B1's head is not on a wall anywhere in DEEP.
AA September 04, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Indeed one of the great travesties in this story is that for all the hogwash about averse conditioning and relocation, it is evident that DEEP had made up its mind to euthanize the bear when it set the trap. An unacceptable and misleading manner to communicate with the community. Certainly one that has diminished my trust in the sincerity and communication skills of DEEP officials as well as their expertise with wildlife management in Connecticut. Given the questionable approach by DEEP, actual bear sightings may not be reported at the same rate in the future.
Deborah Hustek September 04, 2012 at 06:28 PM
I am saddened to learn that the beautiful adolesent female bear was euthanized. I was lucky enough to see her cross the road in front of my car a month ago and wonder in to the woods. It was an amazing sight! I had hoped she would have been relocated...
michele mackenzie September 04, 2012 at 07:23 PM
AA--I also believe they had their minds made up before it was ever trapped. Very unacceptable and misleading manner and I hope the public has learned from this too-I still say and will always say they took the cheapest, easiest way out!
michele mackenzie September 04, 2012 at 07:31 PM
I do believe in animal rights-definitly-but I did not feel inflamed hysteria. And our feelings are not misplaced. DEEP took the easy and cheap way out. There are other people that know as much as the DEEP. I have relatives that work for the DEEP outside CT. They thought it was handled very poorly. The Newspaper played the video without any sound.....the sound of the man beckoning to the innocent bear. Even the State open space land, like you said has wildlife. Man just wants it ALL...We have the beaches, the parks, Big giant man made walking trails and bike trails, but we have to go staggering in the woods--so read and learn what NOT to do so the wildlife can be protected too!!!!! I will always say and always believe this poor bear should have been given a chance!..The feelings of the people who love animals belong on this view...It was not nasty shaming, it was heart felt shaming...Shame on them!
michele mackenzie September 04, 2012 at 07:37 PM
No Ms or Mr Wren, This is reality, mans reality where if it gets in our way, we kill it. The bear WAS trusting..It did not fear man (which is sad because Man was its biggest enemy) Where is the poor bear now....hmmm I wonder....I truly would not put it past the DEEP that its head is somewhere. The mistake was that this beautiful creature did not know how awful the Human Predators would be...
Pem McNerney (Editor) September 04, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Madison Police Chief on Bear B-1: http://patch.com/A-x3kK
michele mackenzie September 04, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Man has to learn to share the earth...We are greedy and entitled. They just knocked 5 acres down not far from where I live, to put in those mini mansions. People were upset wildlife was on THEIR land..These animals have been living there for years...People make you want to go live by a protected and I mean PROTECTED forest away from all of this. You were Lucky, Deborah...What an amazing sight that must have been...Now Dead...Sad
Natalie Jarnstedt September 05, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Why would one immediately make the ssumption that animal rights people were inflaming mass hysteria? Would anyone on this forum who expressed sadness and disappointment with the DEEP wildlife biologists for killing bear B-1, instead of relocating her, automatically be dubbed animal rights activists/supporters? And if they actually were, would it be so offensive to anyone that concerns were voiced questioning the need for "EUTHANASIA"? This bear was not sick, nor was she suffering from a terminal disease - therefore, the killing was for mere expediency and convenience. I agree with many who feel that the killing was a foregone conclusion.
Natalie Jarnstedt September 05, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Unfortunately, the DEEP wildlife division doesn't actually practice wildlife management - it is game management which consists of selected/desired species specifically "managed" for hunters, at the expense of not-so-desired species that fall by the wayside. For example, a lack of predators is always blamed on overpopulated species like deer, providing a great excuse for the need to hunt. Coyotes can be trapped/killed throughout the year, except for a small window when, I assume, they allow them to care for their young..... Yes, I agree, the DEEP deserves scrutiny!
Jon September 14, 2012 at 12:18 PM
You are the reason bears like this are killed by the DEEP.
Jon September 14, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Wonder what the responses would be from everyone here if the bear attacked someone and the DEEP did nothing beforehand. Keepp putting out those birdfeeders.
Barbara Liston September 14, 2012 at 06:04 PM
I've been feeding birds in no mads for 35 yrs, only 1 bear so far. of course dumpsters behind every grocery store and restaurant aren't as likely to notice/report a bear as would a home-owner sitting watching for birds in the 1st place! Considering how many people sell/buy birdseed I have strong doubts we are the strongest attraction to bears but we birders are most likely to see/report bears.
michele mackenzie September 14, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Again, what if, what if, what if.....It did NOT attack anyone so what if means nothing. DEEP took the easy way out. People should not feed birds in summer anyways....Too bad Man thinks they are entitled to everything..and kill what is in their way....
Natalie Jarnstedt September 14, 2012 at 08:00 PM
And what if you walk into your yard the birdfeeders falls on your head and knocks you out, or worse?

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