Ever looked out your back window and feared the presence of a black bear in your backyard? In Fairfield County they do appear from time to time. In the rare event that you do encounter one, it’s important to know what series of actions you should take to keep yourself and the bear safe.
The most important fact in preventing bear intrusion is removing food odors that may attract a hungry black bear. For example, garbage, pet food, and outdoor grills are the most common inadvertent bear invitations. Be sure to keep garbage in airtight containers inside your garage or storage area until the day of pickup. Additionally, double-bagging garbage can eliminate most of the smell it emits. Also, always clean up and store outdoor grills after use, ridding them of any grease or scraps.
If you find that a black bear still manages to enter your property, never feed it anything. Contact with human food will cause the bear to keep returning and desire more. Bears that associate food with people become “problem” bears that will not necessarily be tolerated by all homeowners. If you are certain that you have a black bear, encourage it to leave by banging pots and pans or making loud noises. The more stressful its encounter with you is, the less likely it is to come back.
If you need immediate assistance concerning a black bear, call the CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection’s 24-hour hotline at 860-424-3333. In a worst case scenario, the DEEP may try to remove the bear from an area where it’s unlikely to leave voluntarily.