BARKHAMSTED, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) – A man is feeding bears in his backyard and neighbors are upset as many bears are now spotted at the same time.

Town officials had a meeting to see if they can enact an ordinance against people feeding bears, other large animals, and other wildlife.

Mixed opinions went around on what is the best way to solve the problem.

“People don’t realize how dangerous these animals are,” Luke Knap, a resident of Barkhamsted told WFSB. “They’re big, they’re extremely strong.”

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said there have been 18 bear sightings since mid-June and 90 sightings within the last year.

“I’ve actually worked with people who feed the bears,” Knap told the station.  “I tell them not to because it just makes them less afraid of humans which they should be so they don’t bother us.”

The man feeding the bears lives close to the main intersection through town.

“He’s being very selfish,” neighbor Paula Cutcomb said.  “Maybe he and his family are getting a kick out of watching bears in his yard but it’s affecting the whole community.”

The Board of Selectman will continue to receive feedback from the community. If they decide on an ordinance, it will need to be voted on by the town.

The next meeting is scheduled for August 26.

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