A 10-year-old boy reportedly suffered minor injuries after being attacked by a black bear in Morris, Connecticut on Sunday (October 16th).
According to Fox61, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) said the attack took place around 11 a.m. and was confirmed by Connecticut State police in the Litchfield barracks. The DEEP is expected to announce more details about the incident later in the day.
The DEEP website reports that the black bear has made a major comeback in the state of Connecticut since the 1800s. In the 1980s, the DEEP Wildlife Division notably had evidence of a resident population. Since then, annual sighting reports have increased. This indicates both presence and population growth. “With the number of bears increasing in the state,” the agency states. “It is important for residents to learn the facts about black bears and how to coexist with them.”
In Connecticut, black bear adult males normally weigh between 250 and 550 pounds. Meanwhile, females weigh between 150 and 300 pounds. Yearlings weigh 45 to 100 pounds. Adults are 5 to 6 feet long. Although in the wilderness setting, bears tend to avoid humans. However, food attracts animals and causes them to grow habituated to humans. They are mainly attracted to residential areas by bird feeders, garbage, outdoor pet food, compost piles, and fruit trees.
Black Bears Are Breaking into Connecticut Homes in Record Numbers
CT Public reported earlier this month that black bears are now breaking into Connecticut homes in record numbers. It was revealed that the number of bears recorded entering homes in 2022 is already almost doubling the number of home entries from all of 2021.
It was also reported that through September 29th, Connecticut recorded 65 complaints of bear home entries. Jenny Dickson, director of DEEP’s Wildlife Division, explained the state’s bear population has become habituated and food conditioned by human behavior. “We’ve got a lot of bears who’ve learned to do bad things. They’re teaching other bears to do bad things, and the population is continuing to grow.”
Dickson also warned that bears are no longer just a northwest corner concern. “Anywhere in Connecticut can be bear country not,” she noted. The DEEP official further explained the importance of not attracting bears with food. “[If my agency can] get one message out, it’s really not to put your trash out until it’s collection day.”
East Granby’s animal control officer, Ryan Selig offered some advice to homeowners. He stated that homeowners may try taping ammonia-soaked rags to the inside of the garbage can lids. “The scent of ammonia is unpalatable to bears,” he said.
In regards to DEEP doing a statewide ban on feeding wildlife, Dickson added it would be an effective tool to manage the bear population.