A mother bear was killed by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection after attacking a Simsbury woman earlier this week. Now there are concerns about what will happen to the mother bear's two cubs.
DEEP wildlife biologists said the bear had two six-month-old cubs with her, but they are mature enough to survive on their own. The Humane Society of the United States said otherwise.
"Cubs are reliant on their mothers for up to 18 months and the mothers teach them how to forage and how to survive on their own,” Humane Society of U.S. State Director Annie Hornish said. “And they were only estimated to be about 6 months old so we are a little concerned that those bears may not survive."
Hornish said she met with officials from DEEP on Friday to discuss their bear policy.
"The reaction is completely in opposition to DEEP's killing of this mother bear,” Hornish said. “It's very tragic."
DEEP said they were unavailable to talk to Eyewitness News on Friday. But, DEEP reiterated that once a bear shows aggressive behavior, it is a policy that it is euthanized.
A 41-year-old Simsbury woman was out jogging with her black lab at the popular town forest park around 2 p.m. on Wednesday when she turned a corner and had a frightening encounter with that mother bear.
Simsbury Police 911 dispatcher: “Maam tell me what happened.”
The woman involved in the attack: “We were running along the trail and I look up and the bear was right in the woods, and I grabbed my dog who is 100 pounds, and I let go of the dog, and the bear charged me, and I dropped to the ground."
The woman's attempt to scare the bear off didn't work. When she turned away the bear moved in and scratched her on the backside of her upper leg, and took off. The woman didn't go to the hospital and was OK.
After the mother bear was killed, the two cubs were left to fend for themselves and DEEP said they are not tagged.
"This was simply a case of a mother bear protecting her cubs,” Hornish said.
Hornish said there has never been a fatal bear attack in Connecticut. There are 430 bears believed to live in the northwest corner and about 700 statewide.
Both the DEEP and Humane Society said if you are going for a walk or jog this season especially in a remote area, make sure you are aware of your surroundings and what's in it. If you leave bears alone, they should do the same for you.
Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.