Add this Event to Calendar 03/26/2024 05:30 PM 03/26/2024 06:30 PM The Bear Reality

This program is appropriate for all ages! 

Bears, like so many animals, have become victims of misunderstandings which has been fueled by media, literature and word of mouth. On one hand we think of them as vicious predators. On the other hand, we see them as cuddly teddy bears. Both these images can mean trouble for bears.

The population of black bears has been increasing in Connecticut over the last four decades and will continue to grow. Historically, bears were extirpated from the state by the mid 1800’s. With bears reestablishing residency, it’s important to education the public with knowledge and insight to improve our understanding and tolerance and to help reduce conflicts with our wild bear neighbors.

The Bear Reality is a comprehensive program created to share information and some wisdom of bears with a focus on the American black bears, our only resident species in the wild and a review of data from results of the bear research conducted by wildlife biologists in the state.  The hope is, through outreach and education, a better understanding about the life and behavior of bears will lead to a higher tolerance and a coexistence of humans and bears will become a Bear Reality.

Presented by Felicia A. E. Ortner, Connecticut Master Wildlife Conservationist. 

Felicia Ortner, a Connecticut Master Wildlife Conservationist (MWC) and a bear enthusiast, will provide education and facts about bears and help dispel myths and misunderstandings. The state’s wildlife division support that the black bear is seldom aggressive toward humans. Felicia has been studying about bears for over 30 years. In the mid 1990's Felicia turned her passion for learning about bears into a passion for teaching about them. She created an education program called The Bear Reality. In 2008 the Connecticut DEEP and The Bear Reality came together. Felicia developed a presentation for bear education programs she presents on behalf of the DEEP's MWC program. Her audience includes libraries, schools, nature centers, conservation groups, zoos, scouts and more. Since then, Felicia has reached a collected audience of over 11,000 people in programs in CT, NY, MA, NH and, VT. With the populations of Black Bear increasing through New England and New York State, education is key in a practical solution.

Registration for this in-person program is requested, but not required.

Ehlers Meeting Room