Southington continues to lead the pack in the number of local bear sightings.
The state’s black bear population has been increasing, according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
Over the past calendar year, there have been a total of 44 reports of black bear activity in Southington, compared to eight reports in Cheshire, three in Wallingford and two in Meriden.
The majority of Connecticut’s hundreds of black bears inhabit the northwestern portion of the state, according to DEEP.
Mary Anne O’Brien lives on Masters Drive in Southington and said she has seen a pack of up to four black bears near her home for the last three years.
Most recently, she saw three bears Monday.
Last summer, O’Brien said, she observed a pack of bears rummage through her trash once a week.
“You don’t think they’re real,” O’Brien said. “I’m not thrilled that they’re here, but what are we gonna do.”
DEEP warns residents not to approach or feed black bears, and to hide garbage cans inside a garage or shed.
Anyone who has spotted a black bear in a densely populated area is asked contact DEEP at 860-424-3011 or 860-424-3333.
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