Black bear attempts to break into a house on Pachaug Trail

Spike in bear sightings expected this April

This black bear sow and cub were seen behind a tree on Webb Circle in 2019.

MONROE, CT — A bear tried to break into a house on Pachaug Trail earlier this month, leaving claw marks on the wooden front and side doors, as well as damaging the door jam of the front entrance, according to Animal Control Officer Gina Gambino.

A female resident of the home reported the incident on March 18, but Gambino said the incident actually occurred late at night on the 17th.

The screen door in the front was not damaged, but the wooden door beyond it was. Gambino told the resident she should call a locksmith for the front and side doors. She said scratches were also found on items in the yard.

“Animal Control responded to the scene to document the damage to the home and advise the homeowner of food items and other attractants that were present in the yard,” she said. “This incident was reported to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Wildlife Division to make the agency aware of the incident.”

Bears target grills, food dishes left outside for pets and trash containers.

“You can use ammonia in your trash bins, but it’s also very important to not leave your trash out for days on end,” Gambino said. “It’s important to only put it out on the days it’s collected.”

Bird feeders are another major attractant to bears. Earlier in the spring Gambino asked homeowners to take in their bird feeders.

“Bird feeders have high energy concentrate seeds, which are very enticing to bears. It’s like gold to them,” she said. “This time of season you won’t be feeding birds, you will be feeding bears — and they will most likely destroy the bird feeder and cause a dangerous situation for you and your neighbors around you.”

“Bears definitely are more active at night, but they are opportunistic feeders,” Gambino said. “They will hit that bird feeder, anything you’re leaving out, any time of the day.”

Bears started coming out of hibernation around two weeks ago, according to Gambino, who said this is also the time of year bears are giving birth.

“We haven’t gotten a ton of bear calls, but we’re gaining knowledge of where bears are in town,” she said. “In April, we expect bear sightings to escalate. Cottage Street in the Stevenson area is definitely a hot spot, as well as the Hattertown Road area.”

The black bear on Pachaug Trail was seen in the neighborhood before.

“As recently as last night someone called me about a bear in the Pachaug Trail area,” Gambino said. “Bears are always seen in that area, because it’s heavily wooded. Bears prefer a rural, tight knit neighborhood. Bears target neighborhoods where the houses are closer together, because it’s like a buffet.”

A decrease in hunting and bears becoming used to living among humans has contributed to an increase in the population, according to Gambino.

Bear tips

Here is some information from the Monroe Police Department on how to avoid attracting bears:

  • Remove bird feeders from late March through November. If a bear visits a bird feeder in winter, remove the feeder.
  • 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. Wait until the morning of collection before bringing out trash.
  • Do not leave pet food outside overnight and 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.
  • 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 in an attempt to scare the bear away.
  • Bears know how to open unlocked car doors, so keep your doors locked.

More tips can be found by clicking here.

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