Bear safely taken into custody, will be relocated

Last year brought the Greenwich mountain lion and now 2012 has brought us the Chickahominy black bear.

A juvenile black bear was spotted in the Chickahominy section of town on Wednesday morning and eventually was safely tranquilized in the backyard of a Hamilton Avenue residence. The bear is now being relocated and Greenwich police say the animal had no contact with any people or domestic animals.

According to Lt. Kraig Gray the bear was first spotted in mid-morning and police responded and confirmed that the animal was there. The state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was called and took over the response once it arrived on the scene. The bear, which had crawled into a tree on 351 Hamilton Avenue, was then surrounded and once the proper tranquilizer arrived it was safely brought out of the tree at approximately 2:30 p.m.


DEEP Communications Director Dennis Shane said the juvenile bear was under 100 pounds and had a tag on it that showed it had come from New Jersey. Mr. Shane said the bear is safe and will now be relocated out of Greenwich to a “more suitable area” in the woods of Connecticut. Black bears in this state are not considered to be an aggressive species and there was not thought to be any immediate danger to anyone in the area. Mr. Shane said that bears like this typically “wander around looking for food.”

While this is certainly not a regular occurrence in Greenwich, it also isn’t without precedent either.

“It’s not totally unheard of,” Mr. Shane said. “Bears tend to be more north, but its possible it was moving north from New Jersey.”

There are black bears in Connecticut, but Mr. Shane said they are found in the Northwest part of the state.

As a precaution the nearby Hamilton Avenue School kept children inside all day and were prepared to dismiss the school late if the police felt it was necessary. However the bear was taken safely into custody before the scheduled 2:45 p.m. dismissal and everything proceeded normally. will have more details as they become available.


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