North Haven Garden Club’s March meeting featured Master Wildlife Conservationist Ginny Apple’s presentation on black bears in Connecticut; their habitat, diet, behavior, reproduction and current research efforts.
There are approximately 900 bears in Connecticut and our state has the capacity to care for up to 3,000, which means you are not allowed to hunt them, and we are not overrun by black bears as the media would have you think.
Bears mostly reside in the northwestern part of Connecticut (Check the DEEP website for information on bear sightings). Black bears are not aggressive by nature. They tend to stand up to get a good look around, and will send their cubs up a tree when they feel threatened.
The following is an excerpt from the DEEP website: “If a bear is seen in your town or neighborhood, leave it alone. In most situations, if left alone and given an avenue for escape, the bear will usually wander back into more secluded areas. Keep dogs under control. Stay away from the bear and advise others to do the same. Do not approach the bear so as to take a photo or video. Often a bear will climb a tree to avoid people. A crowd of bystanders will only stress the bear and also add the risk that the bear will be chased into traffic or the crowd of people.”
Sows have their cubs in January or February. When born, cubs weigh 6-12 ounces, have no hair, their eyes are shut, and they stay under there hibernating mother.
Bears must consume 2,500-3,000 calories a day to get ready for winter.
-- Article and photos by Cindy Golia