Bear Shot by Police After Breaking Into House to Steal a Loaf of Bread
TORRINGTON, CONNECTICUT – June 20, 2018
A 1-year-old female bear has been euthanized after officials say it entered a Torrington home on Tuesday.
Torrington police said officers responded to 3467 Winsted Road after a bear pushed through a window screen, broke into the house, rummaged around inside, and then took off with a loaf of bread.
Eighteen-year-old Carlos Novicky was home alone at the time. Carlos told reporters, “He was right there staring at me. And I stared at him for five seconds and I was like this is beyond me, I didn’t want to deal with it, so I went back in my room.”
Bear sightings are a daily occurrence at his house in Torrington, Carlos said. They brought in their bird feeders, and keep their trash cans in the garage, but still, the bears are everywhere. This afternoon, a one-year-old black bear broke in through his kitchen window.
“I didn’t know if it was the mother or not. I know there are cubs, so I know how a mother bear can get when their cubs around, they can be very violent.”
The bear came in through the window, went after the bread in the shelves and on the counter and was banging around the house. Carlos’ bedroom is right on the other side of the kitchen wall.
“The noise was too loud to be coming from the cats. So I thought there was an intruder. Went out to look what was happening, went to the kitchen, turned my head to the right, saw a bear staring right at me," he said. Novicky said he went back to his room and called his mom and she instructed him to call the police, so Carlos called police and animal control.
"To get a call that you have a bear going into your house is kind of crazy," Carlos' mom, Kelly Novicky, said.
The bear left after getting what he wanted.
“The last thing I remember happening is seeing a cop walk past my window with a shotgun, and then I heard two shots,” Carlos commented.
When the bear left the house state Environmental Conservation police euthanized the animal, which is standard DEEP protocol, DEEP confirmed. DEEP said the agency had no previous contact with the animal.
“Euthanasia is not something we take lightly; this is something that we do everything but euthanasia. But in certain cases, unfortunately, we don’t really have a choice," said Chris Collibee, spokesperson for Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
Collibee says if a bear goes into a house or a business, it is considered a Class 4 bear and must be euthanized because of its close contact with humans. There are about 800 bears in Connecticut, and that number goes up 10% every year. Collibee says with no way to control the population; these interactions are getting more frequent. They had another bear sighting Tuesday at Bradley International Airport.
“It is an unfortunate interaction between humans and bears, breaking into cars breaking into homes and these are going to continue to happen.”
DEEP says this is not unusual at all. They have at least 14 bear sightings calls a day, on average.
Police came under criticism for euthanizing the animal. For instance, Facebook user Paul Corey commented, “What the hell, standard protocol is to euthanize the bear? Pretty sure the bear didn't check the CT State Law statutes on breaking and entering. Could have relocated it but no, death to the hungry bear looking for food. I don't want bears breaking into my house, but if it did, I wouldn't want it dead. Idiots.”
Following recent bear sightings, police in North Haven, CT have released tips for what to do if you come across a bear.
First, police say that you should never approach black bears because they are unpredictable and wild. They say bears don't normally make contact with humans.
Second, if you see one and want to view it, officials advise that you do it from the safety of your home or car and to not approach it.
Police say if you see one that is not acting normal or over friendly, take a video of it if you can safely. They say the video will assist law enforcement and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to see if it is a "problem bear."
If you come across a "problem bear," authorities say to never deal with it unless it is in defense of a human's life.
For those of you that have bird feeders, authorities advise you to bring them in to avoid any encounters.
Officials say bears are attracted to your garbage as well, so be sure to not over stuff and allow to close.
Lastly, officials say if you encounter one never run away. If you do run, they say it will see you as prey, and it may trigger them to chase and attack.
Instead, the best thing to do is to be stern and back away slowly, boldly tell the bear to leave and look as big as possible, according to police.
Report bear sightings to the Wildlife Division, at 860-424-3011. Visit DEEP's website for more information about black bears.