Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Could Connecticut ban bear feeding?

The state's Office of Legislative Research has issued a report on the legality of feeding black bears in Northeast states.

As it turns out, you can feed bears in Connecticut with impunity, and without fear of legal reprimand. That's not the case in other places, where shooting a bear might be just fine (in season) but feeding them is a no-no.

For example, intentionally feed a bear in New Jersey and you could be looking at a $1,000 fine.

New York might send you to jail for 15 days for intentionally feeding the bears. In Rhode Island, you can get a license to feed the bears for scientific reasons, but unlicensed bear feeding could put you in prison for 90 days, plus a $500 fine.

Those states also prohibit leaving food around that might attract bears, so Yogi has to go without his pick-i-nick basket.

Black bears are, of course, very common in Connecticut. According to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, there have been 2,787 black bear sightings in the state for the year ending Nov. 6. Apparently Farmington is swarming with bears — there have been 228 bear sightings reported within the last year.

Torrington is another big city for bears. The DEEP reports 177 sightings in the last year, behind only Farmington and Burlington (183 sightings).

In May, a Burlington man was charged after allegedly shooting and killing a black bear on his property (DEEP photo at right).

The Connecticut Mirror reported in September that, “Conflicts with humans are increasing every year,” according to Jason Hawley, a wildlife biologist with the (DEEP. “Really the only way to manage a bear population is through a hunting season.”

That report also specified 352 reports of damage by bears in Connecticut last year.

Earlier this year a bear in Madison, dubbed a "nuisance" by law enforcement officials, was caught and euthanized after days of raiding bird-feeders and garbage cans. 

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you feed a bear it will eventually have to be killed. This is because you are altering its normal behavior to avoid humans. Once they view humans as a food source they have to be killed. If you really care about that bear don't feed it!

November 20, 2012 at 11:10 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can Connecticut BAN bear feeding? Yes.
Can Connecticut STOP bear feeding? No.

November 20, 2012 at 11:24 AM 
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December 26, 2012 at 7:49 AM 

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