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Bear euthanized after breaking into Canton homes and deemed public safety threat, officials say

Photo courtesy Dr. Benjamin Kilham

Officials with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection say they euthanized a bear they believe was a public safety threat.

According to the DEEP, the bear broke into multiple homes in Canton, including one on North Mountain Road on Monday. The homeowner rang a bell, and the bear then tried to break in through a window. The bear eventually retreated and was gone by the time Environmental Conservation police officers arrived.

Several hours later, other property owners in Canton returned home to discover that a bear had broken a window and taken food. Environmental Conservation police officers responded and saw the bear 90 feet from a house. The bear showed no fear or wariness of people, officials said. Under DEEP guidelines, those factors led to the decision to euthanize. The bear had previously evaded traps set by DEEP and showed “increasingly dangerous behavior.”

Four 6-month-old cubs were captured and tranquilized for relocation, although one could not be revived. Three cubs were released to a remote wooded area away from humans and where they could forage for natural food sources.

To avoid attracting bears, the DEEP recommends:

  • Never feeding bears intentionally or otherwise. 
  • Removing bird feeders and birdseed from late March through November.
  • Keeping barbecue grills clean and storing them in a garage or shed.
  • Securing garbage in airtight containers kept in a garage or enclosed storage area. 
  • Feeding pets inside and never leaving pet food outdoors.

DEEP offers more tips for safely living with black bears on its website.

As Connecticut Public's state government reporter, Michayla focuses on how policy decisions directly impact the state’s communities and livelihoods. She has been with Connecticut Public since February 2022, and before that was a producer and host for audio news outlets around New York state. When not on deadline, Michayla is probably outside with her rescue dog, Elphie. Thoughts? Jokes? Tips? Email msavitt@ctpublic.org.

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