Bear sightings are on the rise in Fairfield County as the animals prepare for their pre-hibernation feeding frenzy with winter coming.
Animal Control officials in Monroe reported that there were multiple sightings of presumably the same bear on Tuesday, Oct. 8, that had yellow ear tags on Route 111.
The black bear was spotted multiple times in Monroe, last seen making its way toward the railroad bed in the direction of Route 34.
According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, “though rarely seen by most, black bears are valued by hunters, photographers, and wildlife watchers.
“Many people enjoy just knowing that bears are present in (the area). For many, black bears symbolize wilderness and wildness, but increasingly, bears can be found in semi-rural environments, agricultural areas, and occasionally in urban centers.”
- In the event of a bear sighting, wildlife officials offered a series of tips in case of a close encounter:
- Remain calm and avoid sudden movements;
- Give the bear plenty of room, allowing it to continue its activities undisturbed. If it changes its behavior, you are too close, back away;
- If you see a bear, but it doesn't see you, detour quickly and quietly;
- If it sees you, talk in normal tones and wave your arms;
- If a bear pursues you, do not run. Throw a personal item on the ground. He may be distracted by this and allow you to slowly escape;
- A standing bear is not always a sign of aggression. Many bears will stand to get a better view.
"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.
"Stay away from the bear and advise others to do the same. Do not approach the bear so as to take a photo or video. Often a bear will climb a tree to avoid people. A crowd of bystanders will only stress the bear and also add the risk that the bear will be chased into traffic or the crowd of people."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.