SIMSBURY, Conn. -- A bear, known to Connecticut authorities for having broken into homes in the past, was euthanized Saturday after entering a home in Simsbury, officials said.
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said officers were called to the town Saturday morning after learning from police there that the bear had broken into a home.
Environmental Conservation Police officers euthanized the black bear.
With an ear tag on the bear, officers learned that it had entered multiple homes last year.
The incident in Simsbury was one of the first reports of a bear breaking into a home this year, but the issue hit a record number last year.
DEEP officials said in 2018 there were 24 reports of bears into homes and business, well above the average of six reports a year.
According to officials, 2018 saw a more than 30 percent increase in the number of bear sightings and also set a record for the number of bears hit by vehicles -- 63 in total.
Reports of bears have increased in recent weeks, coinciding with the end of their deep winter slumbers.
Officials estimate that Connecticut is home to more than 800 bears. Issues with bears coming into homes and other properties have sparked a discussion within the legislature to institute a bear hunt as a means to manage the population.
Some fear that if the population is not addressed, it could swell into the thousands.
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