Bear sightings are off the charts in the Nutmeg State for 2023.

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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

Black bear laying on a cabin porch

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."

Robbie Gallacher
Robbie Gallacher

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 K
Jen K

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.

Jen K
Jen K

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.

Check out the Ethan, Lou & Large Dave Podcast on Apple and Spotify

Greater Danbury Bobcat Sightings, Too Close for Comfort

This morning (4/28/21) on the Ethan and Lou Show we were discussing a viral video from North Carolina. In it, a couple was brutally attacked by a rabid bobcat but according to USA Today, they are going to be OK. 

This sent me off on a tirade about bobcats because this happens to be one of my pet peeves. In the Greater-Danbury area, wildlife sightings are frequent and when one animal gets photographed, everyone piles on and says, yeah me too You saw a bear? I saw a bear! 

I made the case that too many people are claiming to have seen bobcats recently, and with no proof. I said, look I know they are prevalent but they can't be around in the numbers that people will have you believe. Every Frank and Fran in the area says they saw one yesterday. 

I said, if you saw a bobcat, prove it. It looks like I may have been underestimating the bobcats and the Ethan and Lou listeners because they did prove it and in a hurry. These are the Greater-Danbury Bobcat Sightings That are Too Close for Comfort. 

Danbury Area Folks Share Their NFL Fandom for Playoffs

I am an Oakland/LA/Las Vegas Raiders fan, and have been since I was a kid and I'm often outnumbered in NFL conversations, but not completely alone. In the NFL, there are fans of all kinds in every city in America.

Before the Raiders losing playoff game against the Bengals last weekend, I reached out to my friends who are Raiders fans and asked them to send me a photo of them wearing a jersey or celebrating the team in some way. I had a great response and it kicked off a fun sports conversation but it was for Raiders fans only.

I wanted to give the same opportunity to all NFL fans in the Greater-Danbury area, whether their team was in the playoffs or not. I sent out the call on my radio show and on social media and these are the responses I got back.
Aurora Photography
Aurora Photography

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