Bear startles Westport neighborhood, but no problems reported
Updated 12:49 pm, Monday, June 3, 2013
A black bear spotted over the weekend roaming in the area of Tupelo Road and Bayberry Lane has been minding its business, police said Monday.
"Other than people seeing a bear in this area for the first time in a long time, there was no aggression, no damage to anyone's property. It was just looking for food as best we can tell," said Deputy Chief Foti Koskinas.
Westport police issued a reverse 911 community alert Sunday, advising residents about the bear and to be cautious if the animal was spotted, Lt. Sam Arciola said.
"We notified the state (Department of Energy and Environmental Protection) and their recommendation is that as long as it is not acting aggressively, let it be," he said.
Officials in the towns of Weston and Wilton were also advised that the bear may be moving through that area, Arciola said.
Police said the bear did not appear to be aggressive, but warn residents to stay away if they see the bear and to be aware that the animal could be in the vicinity when they are outdoors. Police also urge caution when letting pets outside.
The bear seems to be looking for residential garbage, police said, and advised residents to keep trash cans tightly covered..
A 200-pound female black bear bit a woman in West Hartford on Wednesday as the woman tried to defend her small dog. The woman suffered minor injuries and the bear was later euthanized.
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says black bears are rarely aggressive toward humans, but if they regularly find food in residential areas, they can lose their fear and become a problem.
Bear sightings can be reported to DEEP on its web site or by calling 860-675-8130.