SIMSBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Whether it’s a furry family strolling through a backyard, a hungry bear stealing 60 cupcakes from a bakery or a brave goldendoodle chasing one away, it’s clear that black bears are being spotted more and more often in Connecticut.
Bears’ ranges are expanding, according to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, with the number of bear-human interactions and home break-ins rapidly increasing.
There have been 4,103 bear sightings reported to DEEP so far this year, according to a map from the agency. To compare, there have been 2,533 bobcat sightings, and 81 of moose.
While some areas have seen more than 100 sightings, 27 towns have not seen bears so far this year. Even more populated areas have reported bears, with Hartford at 29, Danbury at 12, Stamford at three and New Haven with two.
Bears have also caused damage across the state. A large majority of those are to trash and birdfeeders.
The following areas have had the most bear sightings this year:
Simsbury – 303
Avon – 260
West Hartford – 203
Farmington – 177
Burlington – 149
Torrington – 148
Bristol – 130
Windsor – 111
Litchfield – 109
Granby – 107
To avoid bears lingering in your yard, DEEP recommends securing food and garbage, and to remove birdfeeders except for during winter. If you see a bear around your home, scare it off.
Bear sightings can be reported to DEEP online.