Bear sightings becoming common
NEW MILFORD — When Gerard Bianchi moved to New Milford, bear sightings were rare.
“I moved here in January 1997. I saw a bear in the summer of ‘99,” he said. “Then I probably went about 10 years before I ever saw one again. Now I see them pretty much regularly.”
Bianchi said he has seen bears nearly every summer over the last few years — often more than once. Since Bianchi works from home, he said he’s always around when the bears pass through, including Wednesday afternoon.
Around 1:45 p.m., he said he saw the bear in his yard on Burnham Road.
“I just saw it wandering through my backyard so I grabbed my camera,” he said. “The bears have become so much more of a common occurrence up here.”
He said the excitement of bear sightings is starting to fall as concerns grow.
“I started out as excited to see the bears the first couple of times,” he said. “But now that it’s becoming much more common, it’s more concerning. It’s exciting to see them, but I also recognize they’re coming into much closer contact with families and pets.”
Bianchi said he hasn’t had much trouble with the bears he has seen over the years. Mostly, he said, the bears would knock down and destroy bird feeders, prompting him to take his feeders down or rig them up higher in the trees so bears can’t get to them from the ground.
“I know if I keep the feeders up, the bears will definitely keep coming around,” he said. “It could potentially create problems for the neighbors. I don’t want to do that.”
A resident on Burnham Road in New Milford spotted this bear in his yard on Wednesday.