UPDATE: More bear sightings reported in Shelton
More bear sightings have been reported in recent days in Shelton, including one of a bear with a cub and one of multiple bears together.
It appears the bear traveling along the Route 8 corridor (Long Hill Avenue, Long Hill Cross Road, Old Stratford Road) may have made it as far north as Wakelee Avenue and Wakelee Avenue Extension, two roads on the southern edge of downtown Shelton between the highway and Kneen Street.
One woman walking her dog on Wakelee Avenue reportedly saw a bear on the Route 8 side of a chain link fence along the highway.
There have been reports this bear might have then headed south again, along Long Hill Avenue south of Constitution Boulevard South (in the vicinity of the Board of Education central office at 382 Long Hill Ave.).
A bear and a cub
A separate sighting of a bear and a cub took place Sunday, May 10 on Isinglass Road near Nichols Avenue, in the city’s Huntington section.
“The mother and cub is significant — it means they are breeding here,” said Teresa Gallagher, Shelton’s conservation agent, who people have been contacting with the sightings.
Bears are becoming more commonplace in Connecticut, and multiple sightings of bears have taken place in Shelton since April 30. This is a time of year when young male bears, born in the previous spring, tend to wander off on their own to find a place to settle.
State environmental officials have said bears shouldn’t be considered inherently dangerous, and they only take action when a bear acts aggressively toward humans or is found in a densely-developed, urban area.
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Click below to see recent Shelton bear photos:
“Unless a bear is acting aggressive, which is rare, there is no need to call the police,” Gallagher said. “I would like to hear about bear sightings, however, as would the DEEP [state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection].”
Gallagher, who works at Shelton City Hall, can be contacted by phone at 203-924-1555, ext. 1315, or by email at email@example.com.
Outdoor trash and birdfeeders
Shelton residents are advised to be careful with household trash kept outdoors (try to keep in a closed garage or shed, and put outside as close to pickup time as possible), and to take down birdfeeders in their yards.
Click below to view a city Conservation Commission map of the recent bear sightings (please be patient because it takes a few seconds for the sighting icons to appear on the map):
Police: 'Hasn’t posed a threat'
Shelton Police Det. Chris Nugent said Monday that at least one bear sighting report was made to the Shelton Police Department over the weekend, on Long Hill Avenue near Sylvan Drive on Sunday morning.
“The bear hasn’t posed a threat to anybody,” Nugent said. “We’ll monitor the bear if it appears to be endangered or is a threat to anyone. If the situation appears to be dangerous in any way, we’d take more action.”
“Every time we see it, the bear just seems to run away,” he said.
That is considered a good sign. Bears become a problem when they begin to associate food with humans, which can lead them to begin acting aggressively toward people.
Daycare center response
The police did respond with multiple officers when the bear was seen Thursday, May 7 near a daycare center on Long Hill Cross Road, due to the potential for problems at a facility with young children.
Nugent said DEEP officials have advised the Shelton police to monitor a bear’s activity and keep it informed of sightings, and that is what the local law enforcement agency is doing.
For advice and information
State agency offers advice on what to do and not to do when it comes to bears; click below:
How common are bears in CT and in Shelton? Click below: