Black bears sightings are becoming more common in this area every year. Bears are attracted to garbage, pet food, garbage in compost piles, fruit trees and bird feeders. To discourage bears from hanging around your home, the state Department of Environmental Protection advises people to discontinue use of bird feeders from late March to November, keep garbage cans inside a garage or shed, clean and store barbecue grills after use, don’t leave pet food outdoors overnight, and don’t add meat or sweets to a compost pile. Above all, don’t intentionally feed bears.

Aggression by bears toward humans is very rare. But when hiking, it is a good idea to keep dogs on a leash. A bear may view a roaming dog as a threat. If you see a bear from a distance, make your presence known by making noise and waving your arms. If you surprise a bear, walk away slowly. To report a bear sighting, call the Shelton Police at 203-924-1544, or the DEP at 860-675-8130, or go online to dep.state.ct.us.