There have been a lot of black bear sightings in Connecticut recently. In response to that, the State has released a press release of what to do and what not to do if you come in contact with a Black bear.

There are different ways to deal with coming in contact with a Black bear, depending on where you are. If you see a bear near your home you should:

  • Remove birdfeeders and bird food from late March through November.
  • Put your garbage cans inside your garage/shed.
  •  Make sure your grills are clean and stored in your garage and shed when you are done using them.

If you see a bear near your home you should not:

  • Feed the bears. If they get used to you feeding them they could become "problem bears.
  • Approach the bears or try to get close to them to get a photo or video.
  • Leave pet food outside overnight.
  • Put any meat or sweets in a compost pile.

Here is what you should do if you see a bear when hiking or camping:

  • Make noise while hiking and hike in groups. Make sure, if there is a bear close by, they are aware of your presence.
  • Always keep your dogs on a leash and under control. A bear could see a loose dog as a threat to itself or its cubs.
  • If you surprise a bear, back away slowly.
  • If you are attacked, do not play dead. Fight back with whatever you have available.

If a bear is seen while hiking you should not:

  • Approach the bears or try to get close to them to get a photo or video.
  • Run or climb a tree to get away. If you can, wait in a vehicle or a building until the bear has left.
  • Cook food by your tent or keep food in your tent. Keep food either in a vehicle or hung from a rope between two trees.

If you have livestock:

  • Protect livestock with electric fencing and move livestock into barns at night, if you can.
  • Reinforce beehives so they can't be knocked over or put up electric fencing around them.

If you see a bear in a heavily populated area there are a couple of numbers you can call:

  • DEEP Wildlife Division: 860-424-3011 (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
  • DEEP Dispatch: 860-424-3333 (24 Hours)