4,000 Bear Sightings in CT This Year, Expert Calls it Perfect Storm
Bear sightings are off the charts in the Nutmeg State for 2023.
WTNH says there have been over 4,000 bear sightings so far this year. They also gave a breakdown of where the bears have been seen, here are the Top 5 Towns:
1 - Simsbury – 303
2 - Avon – 260
3 - West Hartford – 203
4 - Farmington – 177
5 - Burlington – 149
We shared these stats with the I-95 listeners Monday morning (06/12/23) as we thought they were alarmingly high. We asked our friend Jen "The Zookeeper" Kotkin to help us make sense of the numbers and she said there was something very interesting about the metrics, remarking:
"The bear numbers seemed aggressively high to me, it could be accurate but here is the twist, there is only about 1,200 maybe 1,400 bears in the state of Connecticut."
We reiterated the number from the News 8 article was over 4,000 meaning bears are being seen multiple times, Kotkin added:
"Exactly, which means these bears are going to the same areas for territory so this is their range, it's called a corridor they use to get from one place to another. Or, because of human encroachment they know that they can get really good food, garbage, pet food that is left out for stray cats, things like that, in those areas. So, they are coming back, we now have setup Connecticut to be a perfect storm for these bears. So, we're seeing an increase in sightings but that doesn't mean there are more in the state it's just the same bears over and over in the same towns."
The evidence is all around us, every time we mention bear sightings on the I-95 Morning Show we're inundated with listener text messages and photos of their encounters. Here are a few we got today:
Jay Cadmus (New Fairfield): "This is anecdotal, but I get Ring alerts from neighbors almost daily with video of bears wandering through their yards. So, they’re here."
Booker (Fairfield): "There are more bear sightings because everyone has cameras all over their property. Until Blink and Ring they were just unsighted."
Robbie Gallacher (New Fairfield): "I took this photo at the New Fairfield Dog Park last year."
If you love animal stories, live in the Greater-Danbury area and are wild yourself you should be listening to the I-95 Morning Show every weekday. We average 2.3 animal stories per morning.
More on our I-95 wildlife expert Jen Kotkin:
Jen has been immersed in the conservation & science education field for over 30 years. While working as Director of Animal Care for The New Canaan Nature Center in Connecticut, she was responsible for the care of native wildlife and birds of prey, while teaching the public about the roles of these wild neighbors. While with the Bronx Zoo and Los Angeles Zoo, Jen’s main priority was the care of exotic hoofstock, again while teaching the public about the delicate balance of humans & habitats. While working with a wildlife sanctuary in Half Moon Bay, CA, Jen played a major role in the wildlife training and handling of some 50 exotic species. Her major focus was creating curriculum for a variety of programs including at-risk and foster youth programming. These programs encompassed helping fragile children gain a sense of trust and worth while developing a healing relationship with the non releasable wildlife at the sanctuary.
Currently, Jen is the owner and sole proprietor of Jen Kotkin Pet Care, providing pet care as well as mental and physical exercise & stimulation for dogs, cats, horses, birds and more. Jen continues to create a variety of programs catered to the needs of many organizations. Her passion for teaching about the natural world to those around her is important, and hopes to ignite this spark for others, just as it did for her.
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