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Bear Sightings On The Rise In Fairfield County, DEEP Warns

A black bear cub takes a nap in a tree last year on Denise Terrace in Fairfield.
A black bear cub takes a nap in a tree last year on Denise Terrace in Fairfield. Photo Credit: Fairfield Police Department

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Black bears are becoming increasingly common sights across Connecticut as the population continues to grow and expand, According to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

The bear sightings in Fairfield County range from none in urban Bridgeport and coastal Darien up to 106 in Newtown, the state said.

It is important that residents learn to adapt to the presence of bears and take measures to avoid damage and problems, DEEP said. If precautions are not taken, problem behavior by bears can increase, possibly leading to bears being removed or destroyed, DEEP said.

Here is a report of black bear activity in Fairfield County from May 2015 to May 2016:

  • Bethel: 4
  • Bridgeport: 0
  • Brookfield: 24
  • Danbury: 32
  • Darien: 0
  • Easton: 19
  • Fairfield: 6
  • Greenwich: 7
  • Monroe: 37
  • New Canaan: 5
  • New Fairfield: 23
  • Newtown: 106
  • Norwalk: 2
  • Redding: 53
  • Ridgefield: 18
  • Shelton: 10
  • Sherman: 13
  • Stamford: 2
  • Stratford: 2
  • Trumbull: 4
  • Weston: 16
  • Westport: 3
  • Wilton: 35

To see how much bear activity there has been in other Connecticut towns, click here.

For more bear Dos and Don'ts, click here .

The primary contributing factor to nuisance problems with bears is the presence of easily-accessible food sources near homes and businesses, DEEP reports. Fed bears can become habituated and lose their fear of humans. Bears should never be fed, either intentionally or accidentally.

According to DEEP, to avoid conflicts and problems with black bears approaching near a residence, some measures that can be taken include removing birdfeeders and bird food from late March through November, eliminating food attractants by placing garbage cans inside a garage or shed and not leaving pet food outside overnight.

If a bear is spotted when hiking or camping, make a lot of noise and wave ones arms, don't approach or try to get closer to the bear to get a photo or video and don't run or climb a tree. If attacked by a bear, do not play dead. Fight back with anything available. In most situations, if left alone and given an avenue for escape, a bear will usually wander back into more secluded areas.

If a bear is found in a densely populated area, contact the DEEP Wildlife Division at 860-424-3011, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays or DEEP Dispatch at 860-424-3333 at any time to report a sighting and obtain advice.

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