Bear roaming Wilton likely attacked miniature horse
WILTON — Bear sightings this month in Wilton are likely the same animal, which is believed to have attacked a miniature horse during the overnight of May 19-20.
“Bear attacks are rare, but they happen,” Animal Control Officer Chris Muir said Thursday. He recounted an incident in Kent where a bear mauled and killed a donkey about three years ago.
Muir, along with officers from the Wilton Police Department and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, visited a home on Kellogg Drive Wednesday after a resident reported their miniature horse had been attacked.
Muir said the horse, which survived as far as he is aware, suffered several lacerations on the left side in the head and neck area. Muir said he and the state officers determined it was likely the result of a bear attack.
Several bear sightings have been reported this month, Muir said, along Indian Hill Road, Evans Lane, Middlebrook Farm Road, Kellogg Drive and Range Road. It is “very likely the same bear,” he said, but could not add any information as to its age or size since he has not seen it himself.
“I highly recommend people who have livestock keep them in at night if possible and have an electrified fence which keeps the animals in and predators out,” Muir said. The Kellogg Drive home did not have such a fence, he said.
As far as predators are concerned, a bobcat was spotted Wednesday along Westport Road, Muir said, the first such report he’s had since one was spotted on Spoonwood Road last October.
The incident with the miniature horse is being forwarded to the DEEP Wildlife division for follow-up.
DEEP offers the following recommendations for avoiding bear interactions near the home.
Remove bird feeders and bird food from late March through November.
Place garbage cans inside a garage or shed. Add ammonia to trash to make it unpalatable.
Clean and store grills in a garage or shed after use. (Propane cylinders should be stored outside.)
Don’t intentionally feed bears.
Don’t approach or try to get close to a bear to get a photo or video.
Don’t leave pet food outside overnight.
Don’t add meat or sweets to a compost pile.
More information and precautions to take around black bears can be found at ct.gov/DEEP/Wildlife/Fact-Sheets/Black-Bear.