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Investigation into police shooting of black bear ongoing; cubs safe

The two orphaned black bear cubs that were captured have been transported to the Kilham Bear Center after their mother was shot and killed by an off-duty Ridgefield police officer in Newtown.
Courtesy Of The Kilham Bear Center

Two black bear cubs have been safely captured after their mother was shot and killed by an off-duty Ridgefield police officer last week in Newtown.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) said on Tuesday that the 4-month-old cubs will be sent to a wildlife rehabilitation center and eventually released back into the wild once they are old enough to survive on their own.

Officials said they were concerned about social media posts that encouraged Newtown residents to feed the orphaned cubs, which is dangerous for both bears and humans.

“That creates bears that we call ‘habituated’ -- they get really used to people, they start looking for food around homes. That’s when we start having really serious problems with the bears,” said Jenny Dickson, head of the wildlife division at DEEP.

Dickson suggests that people keep their trash indoors, clean any outdoor grilling equipment and take down bird feeders once it gets warm.

Police say they’re looking into the shooting of the mother bear by the off-duty officer but declined to give further information until the investigation is completed.

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