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Police: Black Bear Spotted Near Merritt Parkway In Westport

A black bear cub sleeps in a tree Thursday afternoon in Fairfield.
A black bear cub sleeps in a tree Thursday afternoon in Fairfield. Photo Credit: Screenshot from Michael T. Borruso ?@MikeBorruso

WESTPORT, Conn. — Two residents whose properties border the Merritt Parkway reported two separate sightings of black bears on Thursday, police said in a statement.

In both instances, the bear was observed moving through the properties and did not act in an aggressive manner, Westport police said.

It was not known whether these sightings are related to a bear cub found in a tree in Fairfield . First Selectman Mike Tetreau said that bear cub had been spotted running through the Greenfield Hill neighborhood and the Fairfield University area on Thursday morning and afternoon.

On its website, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection offered the following information regarding the handling of bears near your home.

All bear sightings should be reported to both the police department and the DEEP's Wildlife Division, at 860-675-8130.

If you see a bear:

  • Enjoy it from a distance.
  • Advertise your presence by shouting and waving your arms or walk slowly away.
  • Never attempt to feed or attract bears.

The Westport Police Department also offered this advice from DEEP:

Experience has shown that a single wandering bear can be responsible for numerous sightings reported to the Wildlife Division. Experience has also shown that, given an avenue for escape, bears will usually wander back into more secluded areas.

People should not feed bears, either intentionally or unintentionally. Bears that associate food with people become problem bears.

Connecticut has the habitat to support more bears; however, the future of the state's bear population depends on the actions and attitudes of the human population.

The probability of a bear attacking a human is exceptionally low. Therefore, the mere presence of a bear does not necessitate its removal. However, DEEP may attempt to remove bears from urban locations when there is little likelihood that they will leave on their own and when they are in positions where darting is feasible.

DEEP attempts to monitor bear activity in developed areas in coordination with local public safety officials. Coordination and cooperation with officials on the scene and local police officials is a key, critical ingredient in educating the public and assuring a safe, desirable outcome.

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