A black bear taking a summer stroll in Fairfield County made the most of a neighbor’s amenities as it took in the sights over the weekend.
A Town of Fairfield woman living in the Greenfield Hill neighborhood shared photos of “Bear 211” who had previously been tagged, as it made the rounds for approximately 45 minutes in the family’s backyard at around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 24.
During its visit, the bear sauntered up to her children, getting within approximately 20 feet of them before they were ushered away to safety on the patio.
The homeowner said that the bear clawed up a newly purchased splash pad to get to the cool water inside, came up to the patio and up to the home’s sliding glass door. He then retreated back to the splash pad, attempted to get into the home’s garden, snacked on a flip flop, and took a break on the hammock.
‘It was fascinating to see him that close, but can’t help but wonder what would have happened if I didn’t have an eye on the kids,” the homeowner posted on Next-door. “And if one of our sliders was open, no doubt he would have walked right in.
“No doubt he would have had a glass of sangria if I offered him. He was really comfortable.”
According to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), If you encounter a bear while in your yard or hiking, “make your presence known by yelling or making other loud noises. Never attempt to get closer to a bear. If a bear does not retreat, slowly leave the area.”
“Black bears should never be fed – either intentionally or unintentionally,” DEEP Wildlife Division Director Jenny Dickson said. “Bears that are attracted to homes by easily accessible foods lose their fear of humans.
“Such bears spend more time in neighborhoods and near people, increasing risks to public safety, the likelihood of property damage, and the possibility that the bears may be hit and killed by vehicles.”
DEEP said that when it comes to bears, Connecticut residents should follow these instructions:
- Never feed bears;
- Do not feed birds in the spring (starting in late March), summer, and early fall. Clean up spilled seed from the ground;
- Store garbage in secure, airtight containers inside a garage or storage area. Adding ammonia to cans and bags will reduce odors that attract bears. Periodically clean garbage cans with ammonia to reduce residual odor. Garbage for pickup should be put outside the morning of collection and not the night before;
- Do not store leftover birdseed or recyclables in a porch or screened sunroom as bears can smell these items and will rip screens to get at them;
- Supervise dogs at all times when outside. Keep dogs on a short leash when walking and hiking. A roaming dog might be perceived as a threat to a bear or its cubs. (Dogs are required to be on a leash when visiting State Parks, State Forests, and Wildlife Management Areas. Check dog and leash regulations for town properties, land trusts, and other public properties before heading to those areas);
- Do not leave pet food outdoors or feed pets outside;
- Use electric fencing to protect beehives, agricultural crops, berry bushes, chickens, and other livestock;
- Keep barbecue grills clean. Store grills inside a garage or shed;
- Avoid placing meat scraps or sweet foods, such as fruit and fruit peels, in compost piles.
"If a bear is seen in your town or neighborhood, leave it alone. In most situations, if left alone and given an avenue for escape, the bear will usually wander back into more secluded areas," according to officials. "Keep dogs under control."
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