The incident occurred around 6 p.m. when the bear was seen rummaging near the Chamberlain Highway in the area of Lincoln Street and Moreland Hill Road. Police received numerous calls from residents concerned about the animal's behavior, especially as it approached the Griswold Elementary School, police dispatchers confirmed.
Sgt. Drew Gallupe was assigned to monitor the bear when it became aggressive toward Gallupe and a local resident, according to police and DEEP reports. The bear was shot and later euthanized.
Thomas Norden Schenck, a Pond View Road resident, told the New Britain Herald that when he asked why it wasn't tranquilized, police indicated they did not have the means to do so.
"The town does not own tranquilizing equipment," Schenck said.
Black bear sightings have increased in central Connecticut in recent years, according to DEEP statistics. There were no previous sightings reported in Berlin between August 2012 and May 2013 and only one in neighboring Southington and two in Meriden over that time, however several sightings have been reported in all three communities this summer, according to the DEEP.
Just a few weeks back, two distinctly different bears were seen in northern parts of Meriden.
The DEEP provided the following safety information regarding black bear sightings:
In recent years, a resident population has become established in Connecticut, primarily in the northwestern region. Bears have also wandered into heavily populated residential areas. Connecticut residents need to learn more about bears and how to reduce the likelihood of bears becoming a problem.
Bears Near Your Home
Bears are attracted to the garbage, pet food, compost piles, fruit trees and birdfeeders around houses.
- DO remove birdfeeders and bird food from late March through November.
- DO eliminate food attractants by placing garbage cans inside a garage or shed. Add ammonia to trash to make it unpalatable.
- DO clean and store grills away after use.
- DON'T intentionally feed bears. Bears that become accustomed to finding food near your home may become "problem" bears.
- DON'T leave pet food outside overnight.
- DON'T add meat or sweets to a compost pile. BEARS SEEN WHEN HIKING OR CAMPING
Bears normally leave an area once they’ve sensed a human. If you see a bear, enjoy it from a distance. Aggression by bears towards humans is exceptionally rare.
- DO make your presence known by making noise and waving your arms if you see a bear while hiking.
- DO keep dogs on a leash and under control. A roaming dog might be perceived as a threat to a bear or its cubs.
- DO walk away slowly if you surprise a bear nearby.
- DON'T cook food near your tent or store food inside your tent. Instead, keep food in a secure vehicle or use rope to suspend it between two trees.
- DON'T climb a tree, but wait in a vehicle or building for the bear to leave an area.
Bears, Livestock and Beehives
Bears occasionally attack livestock and damage beehives.
- DO protect livestock with electric fencing and move livestock into barns at night if possible.
- DO reinforce beehives to prevent them from being knocked over or protect them with electric fencing.
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