VIDEO: Darien resident catches black bear on camera walking through backyard Saturday
An Old Kings Highway South resident captured a black bear on video in her backyard Saturday in Darien. Kerikea Morgan took the photo as the bear casually investigated her family’s soccer ball. She said her family’s reaction was both “excited and scared.”
This was the second reported sighting of the black bear in the area of Darien last week.
Darien Police reported a young bear was spotted in the Tokeneke area of Darien Wednesday, according to a police statement.
Capt. Jeremiah Marron said the bear, weighing about 100 pounds, was seen in the area. He said animal control indicated the bear was not considered a threat to people or animals.
Although the bear was not considered a threat, residents should remember to take down bird feeders and keep garbage safely stored to avoid attracting a bear to the area.
Sightings do not need to be reported to the police department or animal control unless the bear caused property destruction or presents a safety hazard, Marron said.
But the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection wants to hear about your sightings. Report those online here. No black bear sightings have been reported according to that agency from May 2019 and March 2020.
Black bears are generally shy and secretive and usually fearful of humans. However, if they regularly find food near houses and areas of human activity, they can lose their fear of humans. Unlike grizzly bears, black bears are seldom aggressive toward humans.
Females with cubs tend to have restricted home ranges which average 5 to 7 square miles in Connecticut, while males move about widely in home ranges of 12 to 60 square miles. The size of a home range varies geographically and often depends on the quality of habitat. Most ranges are used by more than one bear, but specific areas are rarely used at the same time. There can be some broad overlap between male and female ranges. In their home territories, bears may mark trees (called “bear trees”) along their travel routes by clawing and biting the bark. Black bears are good tree climbers and strong swimmers. They also can run up to 35 miles per hour.
Cubs are weaned when they are about 7 months old and will remain with the female until the second summer of their lives. Then, the young bears, especially the males, may travel great distances in search of their own territories. Yearling females frequently settle near their mother’s home range. Young bears are often forced into less preferred habitat.
More information on black bears in Connecticut can be found at portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Wildlife/Fact-Sheets/Black-Bear.