WESTPORT — Police are reminding town residents remain cautious after “multiple” black bear sightings were reported in northern Westport on Monday afternoon.
Lt. Jillian Cabana, a Westport police spokesperson, said the department received reports of a large young male bear and bear cub. The bears were not acting in an aggressive manner and were observed to be acting normally, she said.
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Wildlife Division (DEEP) was notified.
With black bear sighting becoming more common in Connecticut, Cabana said residents should take extra precautions to avoid “negative encounters.”
“Bears have an incredible sense of smell. To prevent luring them towards your property, secure your garbage in sturdy covered containers in a garage or outbuilding,” Cabana said.
Residents who compost were also reminded not to throw meat scraps or greasy, oily or sweet materials in your compost pile.
Cabana also advised residents to clean their grills after each use, refrain from leaving pet food outdoors, remove bird feeders from your property for the summer and to keep an eye on pets and small children playing outside.
“If sighted, use caution and do not approach the bear. The mere presence of a bear does not necessitate its removal. According to DEEP, if left alone and given an avenue for escape, the bear will usually wander back into more secluded areas,” Cabana said.
DEEP does not take routine reports of bear sightings over the phone.
Sightings can be reported to Westport Animal Control at (203) 341-5076 or reported to DEEP online.
For more information on bears, visit the DEEP’s website.