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Windsor Bear Charges Homeowners in Madison

The bear, which was tagged in Windsor, has been sighted recently in Madison, Clinton, Killingworth and Guilford.

There were no reports overnight of Bear B-1 being captured, according to Paul Rego, a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection.

Madison Animal Control Officer Fran Fellows said Wednesday around 11 a.m. that she has heard no reports of the bear being captured either.

Madison 911 issued an alert yesterday, asking residents of North Madison and the surrounding area to be careful around Bear B-1, who has been acting increasingly bold around humans.

Charging homeowners, standing on her hind legs and growling

On Tuesday, on County Road who was startled to see the bear outside his house while working, and then started taking video of the bear. Over the weekend, she made a bluff charge at another North Madison homeowner on Genesee Lane. And, she recently stood on her hind legs and growled at a North Madison homeowner who was taking out the garbage.

Madison Animal Control Officer Fran Fellows said the bear has recently been sighted in Madison, Clinton, Killingworth and Guilford. The bear originally was tagged in Windsor about a year and a half ago, she said. State DEEP officials think she is a girl bear just under two years old, which means she is just about to come of breeding age, Fellows said.

"That means she will probably be breeding this winter," Fellows said.

Fate of the bear uncertain, will depend in part if she is deemed a threat to people

Fellows said she did not know what the fate of the bear will be, that her job is to report bear sightings and any unusual bear activity to the state DEEP, which has a staff of wildlife experts.

Rego, one of those experts, said Tuesday that the DEEP, did decide to try to trap the bear after the report and video Tuesday of B-1 charging the homeowner.

If they are able to trap the bear, he said, the DEEP will determine what to do next. Options might include giving the bear "averse conditioning" training that would make her shy of humans, and then releasing her. Another option, if the DEEP determines that she is a danger to humans, would be to euthanize her, he said.

Stay away from the bear, make sure there is nothing enticing in yard

Officials have recommended that homeowners stay away from the bear, secure their garbage, empty their bird feeders, and make sure there is nothing enticing in their yard to attract the bear.

Some homeowners have purchased air horns, which can be purchased at WalMart in Guilford and West Marine in Old Saybrook, to scare the bear away if she approaches.

Shouting at the bear, talking at it, and throwing things at Bear B-1--tactics that North Madison homeowners have used to shoo past bears--have proven to be ineffective with B-1, according to Madison Patch readers. Some of those tactics appear to have prompted the charging, according to reports from those readers.

As to what will happen with B-1, who has elicited a wide range of emotions from North Madison residents, from affection to fear, that remains to be seen.

Some efforts at relocation appear to have been successful, according to these links sent by a Madison Patch reader. 

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