Police since Monday morning have received reports of seven sightings of what officials believe to be one bear.
Starting around 8 a.m. Monday, reported sightings came in from Brushy Ridge, Silvermine and Echo Hill Roads, and on Tuesday morning, St Luke’s School, Smith Ridge Road and West Road at Lost District Drive, according to Officer Allyson Halm, head of the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section.
Halm said that the first call she received reported a “bear cub.”
“If I hear ‘bear cub’ then I’m concerned mom is somewhere, and that’s when it can get dangerous,” Halm told NewCanaanite.com.
Bear sightings are occurring with growing frequency in New Canaan, especially in the summer but increasingly in the winter when they’re not cold enough for the animals to hibernate for the whole season.
“During bear season – spring through summer – your garbage should be confined,” Halm said. “On garbage day, I’d put it out when you know the guy’s coming.”
As with coyotes, Halm said, residents should “have a noisemaker” to sound if they encounter a bear.
“With a bear, don’t turn your back, walk away slowly, make yourself noisy and obnoxious,” she said.
Last year, the first bear sighting of the summer was reported in early May, when the animal climbed a tree on Oenoke Ridge Road, closing the road for a time between Lukes Wood and Turtle Back Roads.
Bears “are rarely aggressive toward humans but can create a variety of problems,” according to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Natural Resources Wildlife Division.
“In particular, bears that are fed by humans can become habituated and may need to be euthanized. Connecticut residents must learn how to reduce the likelihood of bears becoming a problem. Birdfeeders, garbage, pet food and compost attract bears close to houses and people, and should be made unavailable to bears.”