Sometime during the early morning hours of Wednesday, May 20, a bear reportedly attacked a miniature horse at a residence on Kellogg Drive in North Wilton. Capt. Thomas Conlan of the Wilton Police Department said the resident reported the incident after discovering the wounded horse around 8 a.m. Wednesday morning. The horse survived the attack.
Wilton Animal Control as well as an officer from the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) responded to the residence.
According to police, it was determined from the wounds to the horse that it was likely attacked by a black bear. “The horse got a few good-sized scratches on it and some bite marks and it bit [the horse’s] ear off,” Conlan said.
Conlan wasn’t sure if the horse had been kept in a barn or other enclosed structure overnight. “The DEEP officer recommended if you’re going to have livestock, you should have some type of electric fence that keeps other predators out as well as the livestock in,” he cautioned.
The incident will be forwarded to the State DEEP Wildlife Division for follow-up. Conlan said that DEEP officials will determine whether any attempts will be made to trap the bear.
“If it’s act livestock that was out, I don’t know what their parameters are. [The DEEP officer] said it’s not uncommon for bears to attack livestock if they’re left out overnight,” he added.
DEEP provides a list of recommendations for avoiding bear interactions near the home:
- Remove bird feeders and bird food from late March through November.
- Eliminate food attractants by placing garbage cans inside a garage or shed. Add ammonia to trash to make it unpalatable.
- Clean and store grills in a garage or shed after use. (Propane cylinders should be stored outside.)
- DON’T intentionally feed bears. Bears that become accustomed to finding food near your home may become “problem” bears.
- DON’T approach or try to get closer to a bear to get a photo or video.
- DON’T leave pet food outside overnight.
- DON’T add meat or sweets to a compost pile.
More information and precautions to take around black bears can be found on the DEEP website.
photo: file photo, not the actual bear
A black bear ambled up Indian Hill Rd yesterday evening (the 20th). Our Plott Hound (actually bred to hunt bears!) was tied to our barn, facing the road. Our two horses happened not to be in their paddock by the road while we did barn chores. Suddenly our dog began lunging and barking, quite focused on something in a specific spot—a flashlight revealed a large black bear climbing over the broad stone wall on the side of the road,(there was actually enough traffic at around 9pm– during Covid times– for it to want to get out of the road), pondering for several minutes how to get through our wire fence while the dog barked and lunged and my husband and I yelled for it to go away. It climbed into the paddock and approached us, so we retreated (and called 911 and were told that we could report the sighting to the DEEP). It ambled about the paddock for half an hour while we regularly made loud noises, hoping to encourage it to leave. Eventually it began to walk the fence line, clearly searching for a good spot to carefully climb over the electric fence (not on!) and through three strands of wire to continue on its way. Thank goodness the horses were completely unaware of it, and it seemed not to notice them, or at least took no interest in them, other than checking out their hay nets and finding them unappealing.
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