A black bear seen running though multiple neighborhoods in New Haven was captured by environmental officials on Tuesday night.
The bear was seen in the Cedar Hill, East Rock and Fair Haven neighborhoods around sunrise on Tuesday. The animal was then spotted by residents on Chestnut, State and James streets.
Police said a driver reported almost colliding with the bear on Willow Street.
“The omnivore seemed to pose no threat as it took its stroll, mainly ignoring anyone it passed. None the less, we are warning people that this is a wild animal and although American Black Bears generally avoid people, a startled bear could harm someone,” New Haven Police Officer David Hartman said in a statement on Tuesday.
However, this week’s sightings were not the first time a bear was seen in New Haven. Last year, Hartmann said a juvenile bear was seen in Fair Haven Heights around Russel Street and the Municipal Golf Course.
On Tuesday evening, a bear made its way to Wallace Street where officials were there for over two hours trying to relocate it.
According to an officials from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the bear was tranquilized and was being moved to a non-residential area.
BREAKING: After a black bear was spotted in New Haven, police are bringing in a truck to remove the bear pic.twitter.com/cFE8c6gEoX— Jason Frazer (@JasonFrazerTV) May 11, 2016
At one point, police were forced to evacuate a nearby park because they didn't know where the bear would run. Children and families in the park also had to evacuate.
As Tonya Hall was getting off the bus near Humphrey Street in New Haven, she saw the 350 pound black bear.
"At first I thought it was a big dog and then I said wait a minute, dogs aren't that big," Hall said.
The bear was seen near the entrance ramp on I-91 at one point on Tuesday.
"With the help of New Haven and Connecticut State Police, we were able to cordoned off an area with enough personnel yelling with the car lights on keeping the bear in the wood line area," said Sgt. Steve Stanko, of DEEP.
The bear eventually made its way up a tree before it was hit by a tranquilizer gun.
"I think he deserves to have a chance at life. He didn't attack anybody," said Mary Torres.
DEEP said the bear is being moved to a wooded area where it won't pose a danger to people.
"He's breathing very well. He's doing everything we want him to do," Stanko said.
Hartmann said 19 years ago, a black bear was seen in the Westville section of the city and which prompted many emergency calls to the police department.
“In all cases, the wandering animals made it safely to their dens without behaving badly – save a few knocked over trash cans. The bears blamed raccoons. The raccoons were uncooperative but denied involvement,” Hartmann said.
Officials continue to remind homeowners to secure bird feeders and garbage cans.
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