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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) As warmer weather arrives Connecticut environmental officials are advising residents not to be surprised if they see bears up and about.

Last year there were 6,500 black bear sightings around the state. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says sightings were reported in 131 of Connecticut's 169 towns.

State officials say residents of western Connecticut in particular should expect black bears to have a regular presence because they are well established in that part of the state. With the arrival of spring weather officials say the bears are leaving their winter dens and becoming more active.

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