The two orphaned bear cubs in Newtown have been captured by State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Wildlife Division staff. The 4-and-a-half month old cubs were left alone since Thursday when their mother, nicknamed Bobbi and tagged by DEEP as 217, was shot and killed by an off-duty Ridgefield Police Officer.
The cubs were located high in a tree, which is what DEEP says they learn to do to evade predators. One cub came down from the tree where it was located yesterday and was tranquilized and safely captured. Deputy Commissioner Mason Trumble says the other cub remained in the tree, but was later tranquilized and captured successfully.
Both were transported to a rehabilitator and appeared to be very healthy.
DEEP Wildlife Division Director Jenny Dickson says while the agency's first priority is to let wild animals remain wild, the attention drawn to the bear cubs have put them in a difficult situation. She feared they could become habituated to humans, or food left out for them could attract other predators that could put the cubs in danger.
Dickson confirmed that the shooting , which is still under investigation, involved free range chickens owned by the resident.
State Representative Raghib Allie-Brennan worked with Representatives Nicole Klarides-Ditria and David Michel to apply pressure to DEEP to safely capture the cubs and transport them to a sanctuary. They say simply letting “nature run its course” is not acceptable to the Newtown community and shouldn’t be acceptable to the state. Instead of hoping for the best, he says rehabilitating them will ensure their survival.