A Fed Bear Is A Dead Bear

Don't feed the bears

"Don't feed the bears," was the key point in a presentation on black bears by Paul Colburn, a Connecticut Master Wildlife Conservationist, who spoke at Noble Horizons on April 29. The large and very engaged crowd was an indication that black bears have made their presence felt, frequently in our backyards. There were 6,600 reported sightings in the state in the past year.

Colburn said that Native Americans regarded the bear as a powerful and spiritual creature to be treated with respect, but everything changed with the arrival of European settlers. In 1650, Connecticut was 100% forested and bears were abundant. By mid-19th century, only 20% of the land remained forested and the black bear had been shot, trapped, and poisoned into extinction. Only in the 1980s, with agriculture declining and more land returning to its natural state, did the bears return.

While the eastern black bear is wary of humans, they are on a continual hunt for food and that can bring them in contact with humans and human habitations, potentially lessening their natural timidity. At worst, a bear may become aggressive and be euthanized.

How to Avoid Feeding the Bears

  • Hang bird feeders only between November and March
  • Keep garbage in a sturdy container, preferably in a garage
  • Do not leave a grill that has not been cleaned outside
  • Do not put meat or sweets in a compost pile

Colburn asked each attendee to pass this message to five other people and to help keep track of our ursine neighbors by reporting bear sightings at www.ct.gov/deep/blackbear or call 860-424-3011.

Go back

Recent Blog Posts View All

The Corona pandemic has profoundly magnified the vital and selfless role of our region’s volunteer first responders.  Northwest Connecticut fire and ambulance services run on volunteers and are fueled by the generosity and bravery of our neighbors who teach at our schools, fix our leaky pipes, and landscape our gardens. They are also our skilled and well-trained first responders.

Four-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, global humanitarian, author, and former Executive Director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute of Quinnipiac University, David Ives discussed his remarkable career on July 10 via a Zoom event hosted by Noble Horizons.

This week’s blog took me away from the hiking trails of Connecticut and into Massachusetts where I explored the birds of our neighboring state.

Lifelong learning has been at the heart of Noble Horizons since its founding almost 50 years ago. In fact, the room in which many of the daily classes, seminars, and programs have taken place for decades is called The Life Long Learning Center (nicknamed the L3)!