FILE PHOTO: A bear that broke into several Canton homes —some occupied — has been killed and a cub also died accidentally, officials said Tuesday.
CANTON — Environmental officers have killed a bear that had been breaking into local homes — some occupied — and no longer showed a fear of humans, an agency spokesperson said Tuesday.
A bear cub also died after failing to wake up from being tranquilized for transport into the deep woods, said Will Healey, spokesperson for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Three cubs survived and were successfully relocated.
The larger bear was euthanized after it broke into a house on East Hill Road in Canton Monday and ransacked the kitchen, Healey said. It is believed to be the same bear that broke into other houses in the area in the past week, even when residents, including children, were home, Healey said in a news release.
DEEP’s Environmental Conservation police tried to capture the bear by setting three traps, but the animal would not take the bait and “continued to exhibit increasingly dangerous behavior,” he said.
On Monday, EnCon police first responded to a report of an aggressive bear on North Mountain Road. The bear tried to break into an occupied home through the front door and wouldn’t leave even when the homeowner rang a bell to deter the animal and the resident’s dog barked, Healey said.
Instead of being scared away, the bear tried to break in through a window, he said.
The bear eventually left and was gone when officers arrived, but it wasn’t long before it returned.
Three hours later, DEEP police were called back to the neighborhood. About 400 yards away from the home, residents returned to their house on East Hill Road to find that a bear had broken through their window and was “ransacking the kitchen,” Healey said.
The bear eventually left, but when officers arrived they spotted the animal at the edge of the property, about 30 yards from the house, with the food it had taken, Healey said.
“The bear showed no signs of fear or wariness of people — a response not typical of a wild bear,” Healey said.
A decision was made to euthanize the bear for the public’s safety, Healey said. The decision was made based on DEEP guidelines for a bear that has entered homes or tried to get into occupied buildings and shows no fear of people, he said.
After the bear was killed, officers found four 6-month-old cubs in a nearby tree and decided to capture them and relocate them so they don’t lose their natural fear of humans. One of the cubs did not wake up after being tranquilized and died, Healey said.
“The surviving three cubs were released to a remote wooded area with excellent bear habitat where they can forage for natural food sources free from the risks of human interaction or habituation,” he said.
DEEP has tips for Connecticut residents, especially those who live near bears:
Bears should never be fed, intentionally or otherwise
Birdfeeders and birdseed should be removed from late March through November
Barbecue grills should be kept clean and stored in a garage or shed
Garbage should be stored in airtight containers and kept in the garage or enclosed storage area until the morning of collection
Pets should always be fed inside
More information on how to minimize the likelihood of conflicts with bears can be found online.