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A weekend of wildlife sightings in Connecticut

From bears to moose people in several towns that aren't accustomed to seeing the animals reported sightings.

HARTFORD, Conn. — A neighborhood in Hartford’s West End has been visited by a bear twice in the span of just a few days. 

"It’s been kind of an eventful weekend bookended by two bear sightings in the neighborhood right on the same corner," said Helder Mira of Hartford.

He spotted a bear on North Beacon Street on Monday. He said, police told him it had been at nearby Elizabeth Park earlier in the day.

While this once may have come as a surprise neighbors in the area are starting to get used to seeing bears. 

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"I feel like there’s a new bear sighting every day now. Everyone, all the streets are seeing them," said Kate McAvoy of Hartford.

On Friday, neighbors said police responded to another bear sighting in which the animal had climbed a tree. 

While the same situation unfolded in downtown Hartford. 

"I mean you don’t expect to see to see bears in Hartford," McAvoy said.

However, Connecticut’s bear population is growing. The animals have now been reported in every town and city in the state. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said bears are now even living in areas once considered poor habitats. 

"I’ve lived here all my life and it’s the first time I’ve had like this many bear sightings, this is my second bear or third bear at this point in the past 12 months," Mira said.

DEEP said the biggest factor is food.

Summer is here and grills should be kept clean, pet food should be kept inside, and bird feeders should be taken down. 

"I was planning on putting up bird feeders and I just won’t be doing that. That’s pretty much just open buffet for them," Mira said.

It’s not just bears. Over the weekend DEEP said it was notified of a moose in Bristol and people reported seeing it in Terryville too.

Just this month three moose have been hit and killed by cars in Connecticut. 

All serving as a reminder that we share this state with wildlife. 

"We’re just going to have to learn to co-exist and try not to ruin their habitats," Mira said.

If you see either animal you should not approach them. More information on how to report moose sightings can be found here and information on reporting bear sightings can be found here.

According to DEEP there are about 100 moose in Connecticut and about 1200 black bears.

Gaby Molina is a reporter and anchor at FOX61 News. She can be reached at gmolina@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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