SIMSBURY, CT (WFSB) - Simsbury is seeing a spike in the number of black bear sightings.

Calls to police are the highest they have been in the last ten years.

On Thursday night, families told town leaders the bears are trying to break into their homes.

People at the meeting are having uncomfortably close encounters with black bears and say it’s getting out of control.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says right now about 800 black bears roam the state of Connecticut.

Dozens of people say there’s too many of them in Simsbury.

“The anxiety that I feel playing with my own children in my own backyard we’ve had six or seven bears in the past week on my block daily,” said Adina Ciobotaru.

The first selectman, Representative John Thompson and animal control heard people’s stories.

A black bear ransacked one family’s fridge and that same day the bear came back two more times putting her family’s safety in danger.

“When we heard my son screaming we got into the room and saw my son right up near the bear trying to pull my dog away from the bear,” said Dawn Cohen.

The first selectman says he’s aware the black bears are getting bold.

The number of calls are raising alarm bells, with 472 calls so far in 2018.

“This year we’ve already gotten more emergency calls about bears than we’ve gotten in any previous year and the years not even over yet,” said First Selectman Eric Wellman.

Animal control says bears are attracted to trash bins and bird feed.

For Tony Uanino, he says a bear broke a tiny window and grabbed his chickens.

“There’s way too many of them. I don’t mind them, the aggressive ones I think need to be removed,” said Uanino.

The animal control officer says the bear problem will need to be addressed with policy changes on the state level.

It could include a hunting season or relocating the bears.

“Number one priority in safety and that’s why we’re all here as a team in an effort to make sure 3:16 the citizens know that we care. We’ll address this actively,” said Officer Mark Rudewicz.

Most people tonight support a hunt, but Thompson says many in town don’t.

“I just don’t want my family to be hurt,” said Thompson.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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