Police advise residents to practice bear safety

The Shelton Police Department recently received reports of bear sightings in the area of Dexter Drive, Walnut Tree Hill Road, and Cardinal Drive.

Residents may report bear sightings to DEEP Wildlife Division at 860-424-3011 or online at http://www.depdata.ct.gov/wildlife/sighting/bearrpt.htm and may also contact the police department. However, the mere presence of a bear does not necessitate its removal.

The following is from DEEP Wildlife Division:

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. The primary contributing factor to bear nuisance problems is the presence of easily-accessible food sources near homes and businesses. Fed bears can become habituated and lose their fear of humans. Bears should never be fed, either intentionally or accidentally.

Residents should take the following steps to avoid conflicts and problems with black bears:

Bears near your home

Bears are attracted to garbage, pet food, compost piles, fruit trees, and birdfeeders.

Remove birdfeeders and bird food from late March through November.

Eliminate food attractants by placing garbage cans inside a garage or shed. Add ammonia to trash to make it unpalatable.

Clean and store grills in a garage or shed after use.

Do not intentionally feed bears. Bears that become accustomed to finding food near your home may become "problem" bears.

Do not approach or try to get closer to a bear to get a photo or video.

Do not leave pet food outside overnight.

For more information go to: http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp…