MILFORD, Conn (WTNH) – A number of black bear sightings in Milford are prompting the mayor to issue an alert to residents. Bears have been spotted at different locations around the city all week during daylight hours. Mayor Ben Blake sent out an email urging people to read the information for Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Black Bear Fact Sheet regarding what to do if you see a bear:
- Observe it from a distance
- Advertise your presence by shouting and waving your arms or walk away slowly
- Never attempt to feed or attract bears
- Report bear sightings to the Wildlife Division, at 860-424-3011
In wilderness settings, bears usually avoid people. However, food attractants near homes can cause them to grow habituated to humans and disturbances, such as dogs and other noises. Bears are attracted by bird feeders, garbage, outdoor pet food, compost piles, fruit trees, and berry-producing shrubs.
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To avoid attracting bears:
- Remove bird feeders from late March through November. If a bear visits a bird feeder in winter, remove the feeder.
- Wait until the morning of collection before bringing out trash. Add a few capfuls of ammonia to trash bags and garbage cans to mask food odors. Keep trash bags in a container with a tight lid and store in a garage or shed.
- Do not leave pet food outside overnight. Store livestock food in airtight containers.
- Do not put meats or sweet-smelling fruit rinds in compost piles. Lime can be sprinkled on the compost pile to reduce the smell and discourage bears.
- Thoroughly clean grills after use or store in a garage or shed.
- Never intentionally feed bears. Bears that associate food with people may become aggressive and dangerous. This may lead to personal injury, property damage, and the need to destroy problem animals.
- Encourage your neighbors to take similar precautions.
If you see a bear on your property, you can either leave the bear alone and wait for it to leave or make loud noises from a safe distance to attempt to scare the bear away. After the bear leaves the property, remove anything that may have attracted it to the area.