BURLINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — A bear that approached a hiker last Friday afternoon at the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area was located and euthanized Wednesday.
Around 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, officials from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) identified bear 065 from his red ear tags. The bear was located in the same area where it interacted with the hiker last week.
DEEP officials claim that the bear was accompanied by a second, larger bear, which they said is unusual. Wildlife staff set traps at Sessions Woods Wednesday afternoon, and were alerted that there were two pairs nearby. Officials said they were able to locate the bears, and dispatch the one matching the description of the animal that had been encountered by the hiker. The second bear remained at a distance.
According to a statement released by DEEP, this male bear had a history of aggressive behavior toward humans. It was captured, tranquilized, and relocated from the perimeter fence at Bradley International Airport in June of this year. Later that month, it attempted to follow a woman into a building in Windsor. In July, it was suspected of entering a home in Granby.
The DEEP statement also indicated that a second bear was euthanized at Sessions Woods shortly before 5:00 p.m. Tuesday. That bear’s red ear tags were number 035, a female bear that was roughly the same size as bear 065, the one they were searching for. The statement claimed that bear 035 charged one of the two DEEP Wildlife Division staff people that were on the scene.
Necropsies will be conducted on both bears to determine their condition to see if any abnormalities could have contributed to their unusual aggressive behavior. DEEP officials said that given the incident on Friday, and the previous behavior of the bear, there was serious concern that it could have injured a person in any future encounter.
Due to ongoing levels of unusually high bear activity in the area, the trails at Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area will remain closed until further notice.