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Bill that allows certain killing of bears passes in state Senate

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    HARTFORD, Connecticut (WFSB) — A bill that would allow certain killing of bears in Connecticut passed in the state Senate on Thursday.

It passed 31 to 3.

“We’re seeing an increasingly growing population and increasing dangerous human-bear interactions,” said Sen. Stephen Harding, a Republican who represents the state’s 30th District.

There were three big parts of the bill:

Allows people to kill bears in self-defense if they are a threat to them, their pets or their property. Allows farmers to apply to [the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection] for permits to kill bears that are a threat to crops and livestock. Bans people from “intentionally” feeding bears. “This makes it very clear that if you believe yourself, your family members, your pet’s life is in danger that you are able to protect yourself from the bear,” Harding said.

The bill stops short of allowing a bear hunt in Litchfield County. That had previously been discussed, but was removed.

It came as parts of the state have seen and heard about more human interactions with bears.

In October, a child was attacked by a bear in his Morris backyard. That bear was later killed by police.

Recently, an Avon woman was attacked while walking her dog.

Living in Avon, Terese Garasson said she happily shares her land with bears, but knows to stay away.

“One time I stopped and was videotaping a mama with her cubs and she gave me her little warning. Be wise, don’t get too close. I have my children too. My mama bear comes and I wouldn’t want anyone harming my children,” Terese said.

The bill now goes to the state House of Representatives for action.

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