The black bear that roamed through the Chickahominy section of Greenwich on Wednesday was probably by itself, as state officials said they don't believe a family of black bears is in the region.
The 155-pound female bear, believed to be around 2 years old, was in a tree behind 58 Spring St., when DEEP officials shot it with a tranquilizer gun about 2:30 p.m. Gardner said a padded landing area was used to prevent injury. The bear was removed and relocated to an undisclosed state forest.
The last time this bear came into contact with a government agency was in October, when New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection officials found it feeding on dead livestock in the northwest part of the state, said Larry Ragonese, the department's press director.
It was discovered in Sandyston, N.J., in Sussex County near the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Pennsylvania, south of New York state.
Officials in New Jersey and in Connecticut tag bears when they can for research purposes, Ragonese said.
Bears are hunted in New Jersey, which is not the case in Connecticut.
"We have about 3,500 bears in the state," Ragonese said.
"We have the most bears per square mile in the country, and that sometimes surprises people."
There are an estimated 500 bears in Connecticut.
Both Connecticut DEEP spokesman Dennis Schain and Ragonese said environmental officials believe the bear swam across the Hudson River some time in the last eight months.
"Our guys estimate that somewhere along the line the bear did some swimming," Ragonese said.
"Bears, like other animals, walk along the edge of rivers and sometimes they find an area where they can cross," Schain said.
While male bears tend to travel farther than females -- sometimes hundreds of miles away from where they were born -- females have also been known to roam, Ragonese said.
"Bears are looking for food and a place to sleep and a little exercise," he said.
New Jersey-tagged bears also have been found in western Pennsylvania, western New York state and Maryland, Ragonese said.