HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A growing bear population has Connecticut wildlife officials considering the state's first bear hunt in 170 years.
The state's expanding bear population was highlighted in the last week when an 82-year-old Windsor man was arrested after fatally shooting a black bear that damaged a bird feeder on his property.
State officials tell the Hartford Courant (cour.at/ysvuQM) that blacks bear had left Connecticut by 1840 due to hunting and the clearing of their woodland habitat to make room for farms.
But the bears have since migrated back from neighboring states, and sightings have spiked from 75 in 1995 to 2,786 last year. Some report the bears are damaging property or killing livestock.
State wildlife biologist Paul Rego says there's no plan yet for a bear hunt. But he said biologists view it as an option.