Police say a black bear was sighted on lower Valley Road last Thursday afternoon with her four young cubs.
The 4 p.m. sighting on June 1 is the first reported in New Canaan since March 21 on Ludlowe Road, also in the eastern part of town.
“It is important for residents to be aware that bears will be roaming through New Canaan routinely,” Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm said. “Bears will avoid conflicts with humans, however in search of food they will venture closer to homes. Bears are attracted too, garbage cans, bird feeders, chickens, compost, gardens, bee hives and many more food sources. Hazing tools should be at the ready.”
The adult bear spotted last week had been collared and tagged as part of the state’s tracking program.
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, or DEEP, urges residents to observe bears only from a distance and, if confronted, “advertise your presence by shouting and waving your arms or walk slowly away.”
“If you see a bear on your property you can either leave the bear alone and wait for it to leave or make loud noises from a safe distance to attempt to scare the bear away,” according to DEEP. “After the bear leaves the property, remove anything that may have attracted it to the area.”
The number of black bears appearing in New Canaan each year has been rising in recent years, Halm has said.
Black bears typically breed in late June or early July, according to the state. During that time, males travel extensively in search of females. In New Canaan, bear sightings are reported to police all throughout town. “Young are born in the den in late December through early January and are blind, toothless, and covered with fine hair,” according to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. “Cubs weigh 6 to 12 ounces at birth, about the size of a can of soda. Litter sizes range from 1 to 5 cubs, with litters of 2 or 3 being most common in Connecticut. After giving birth, the sow usually continues her winter rest while the cubs are awake and nursing. Only females rear the young, which typically remain with the female until the second spring of their lives. Then, the young bears (yearlings), especially the males, may travel great distances in search of their own territories. Yearling females frequently settle near their mother’s home range. Young bears are often forced into less preferred habitat.”
Bear sightings should be reported to New Canaan Animal Control and via the DEEP website.