2015 Press Release
September 2, 2015
Statement of DEEP Concerning Search for Sessions Woods Bear
The bear that exhibited bold and aggressive behavior toward a hiker at Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area, Burlington, last Friday was euthanized today.
The male bear was shot and killed on the grounds of Sessions Woods at around 1:45 p.m. The bear was taken in the same area where it interacted with the hiker last week. It was also again accompanied by a second, larger bear – which is unusual.
A positive identification was made from the number on red ear tags – 065 – which had been placed on the bear when DEEP had previous contact with it and which were visible on video footage taken by the hiker last week.
DEEP Wildlife Division staff setting traps at Sessions Woods this afternoon were alerted to the presence of two bears nearby. They were able to locate the bears and dispatch the one matching the description of the animal that had been encountered by the hiker. The second bear remained at a distance.
This male bear had a history of aggressive behavior toward humans. It was captured, tranquilized and relocated from the perimeter fence at Bradley International Airport in June of this year. Later that month, it attempted to follow a woman into a building in Windsor. In July, it was suspected of entering a home in Granby.
In the course of the search for the bear involved in Friday’s incident, a second bear was euthanized at Sessions Woods shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday. That took place after DEEP staff responded to reports of a bear in the area where the encounter with the hiker took place and matching its description. This female bear also had two red ear tags and was travelling with a larger bear. It was about the same size as the male bear being sought and exhibited similar aggressive behavior. It charged one of the two DEEP Wildlife Division staff people that were on the scene, The numbers on that bear’s ear tags were 035. It had been tagged this winter in the Bristol area during DEEP research at bear dens.
Necropsies will be conducted on both bears to determine their condition to see if any abnormalities could have contributed to their unusual aggressive behavior.
DEEP took action to euthanize bear involved in Friday’s incident because of the threat it presented to public safety. Given the incident on Friday and the previous behavior of the bear there was serious concern that it could have injured a person in any future encounter.
Due to ongoing levels of unusually high bear activity in the area, the trails at Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area will remain closed until further notice.