A Westport resident got a little fright when they encountered a black bear on their property.
The sighting took place around 8:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 22, on North Avenue, said the Westport Police.
Officers tracked the bear to the area of 300 North Avenue and Tuck Lane.
The bear was not acting in an aggressive manner and was observed to be acting normally, police said.
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Wildlife Division (DEEP) was notified, they added.
"Black bears are becoming increasingly common in Connecticut," the department said. "In order to safely co-exist, residents are reminded to take precautions to prevent negative encounters with bears and nuisance behavior."
They also reminded residents that bears have an incredible sense of smell and recommend the following:
- To prevent luring them towards your property, secure your garbage in sturdy covered containers in a garage or outbuilding.
- Residents that compost are asked to do so responsibly. Do not throw meat scraps or greasy, oily or sweet materials in your compost pile.
- Clean greasy barbecues and grills after each use, refrain from leaving pet food outdoors.
- Remove bird feeders from your property for the summer.
Residents should also remember to keep an eye on pets and small children playing outside.
"If sighted, use caution and do not approach the bear," they said. "The mere presence of a bear does not necessitate its removal."
According to DEEP, if left alone and given an avenue for escape, the bear will usually wander back into more secluded areas.
Sightings can be reported to Westport Animal Control at (203) 341-5076.
For more information on bears, please visit the DEEP’s website.
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