WOODS ‘N’ WATER: Black bears showing up in yards

WOODS ‘N’ WATER: Black bears showing up in yards

Record-Journal
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Luckily, for the home owner the bear departed without doing any harm to the human residents, but one has to wonder just how long this is going to last.

Even though they have been forced to live close to human residents because of disappearing habitat and a bear population that is increasing each and every year, people should realize that the black bear in real life is a wild creature and not some cartoon characters like Yogi Bear and.his smaller companion, Boo Boo.

Each year here in Connecticut, more and more black bear sightings are reported and there has even been reports of some livestock being killed by black bears. It appears that some of the black bear population has lost their fear of humans and while this might seem “cute’ to some, it does present a dangerous situation for human.

What to do with this increase in black bear population is the question that should be answered sooner than later because it is only a matter of time before a human being gets mauled or even worse, killed by a black bear.

Believe it or not there was a time when only a few black bears made Connecticut their home but as the years went by their numbers increased and they have been spotted in just about every town or city in Connecticut including right here in Meriden ad a few years ago right in South Meriden.

We do know that black bears are not a bloodthirsty wild critter that goes about attacking the human population but this is not what brings about a human fatality from a black bear encounter, but the fact remains that it could happen.

A case to point this out happened back on Sept. 21, 2014 near West Milford, New Jersey.

Darsh Patel, age 22, was about to begin hiking with four friends in Apshawa Preserve when they met a man and a woman at the entrance who told them there was a bear nearby and advised them to turn around.

They continued on, found the bear, and Patel and another hiker took photos. They turned and began walking away, but the bear followed them. The hikers ran in different directions, and found that Patel was missing when they regrouped. Authorities found Patel’s body after searching for two hours. A black bear was found in the vicinity and was killed. According to the State Department of Environmental Protection this was the first fatal black bear attack on a human in New Jersey.

A couple of years ago, a similar encounter with a couple of black bears happened in Connecticut and the lucky hiker came away with some videos that went on TV but I wonder if she even realized just how lucky she was, As for a black bear entering a home, it is not a funny TV video. A 93-year old woman, Adelia Maestras Trujillo of Mora New Mexico had a black bear break through a glass pane to enter her house Aug. 18, 2001. The black bear killed her and her body was found in her kitchen. The bear was shot five miles from her home.

Here is one more incident for those opposed to any type of black bear population control here in Connecticut. Six-year old Elora Patrasek was killed on April 13, 2006 in the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee. A bear attacked the family at a waterfall near a campground. Petrasek’s mother and brother were also injured. The bear was trapped and killed.

I have a list of twenty-five fatal black bear attacks in North America including a five-month-old infant that was taken from her stroller near the porch of the family’s vacation home August 19, 2002 in Fallsburg, N.Y. The bear carried the infant in its mouth to the woods. The infant died of neck and head injuries.

I tell you these things because I do know that there are some who are against any type of wild animal control like hunting or trapping.

However, the fact remains that the way the black bear population in Connecticut is growing, and way too many people think they are “cute” like some of the cartoon critters they have come to enjoy, that they have nothing to worry about.

Common sense tells us that animals in the wild like black bears do not practice birth control so every year their numbers increase and this also increases their encounter with humans. Many times these frequent encounters also take their fear of humans away and this can and will result in a tragedy.

Here in Connecticut we have a DEEP Wildlife Division that is more than capable of doing the right thing in managing our wildlife resources. Now we need legislators in Hartford to allow them to do their job. Enough said—for now.

See ya’ and God Bless America and watch over our troops, police, firefighters and first responders wherever they may be serving in this great country of ours.



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