Indra and Izzy, the two surviving cubs of “Bobbi the Bear” who was shot and killed by a Ridgefield Police Sergeant in May, are spending their days napping in pine trees and hanging out with other orphaned cubs in an enclosed forest in New Hampshire.
Ben Kilham, with the Kilham Bear Center in Lyme, N.H said the cubs were ready to be released into the forested enclosure because they have been growing strong and healthy since their arrival in May.
“They are both doing well and growing up fast, ” Kilham said. “They have lots of friends. There is a gang of cubs they hang out with.”
State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection captured and delivered the cubs to the Kilham Bear Center after their mother – a beloved black bear known locally as Bobbi the Bear– was shot and killed on May 12 by off duty Ridgefield Police Department Sergeant Lawerence Clarke.
Bobbi the Bear was known to state environmental officials as Bear #217 for the tags they clipped on her ears. But to those living in Redding, Bethel and Newtown, where she often roamed, she was a celebrity and a joy to spot. Sightings of her were widely shared on Facebook.
On May 12 Bobbi fatefully wandered onto Clarke’s property in Newtown. He told investigators that he shot and killed Bobbie with his AR-15 because she was threatening his chickens and grandchild.
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police, Newtown Police and the State’s Attorney’s Office in Danbury investigated the incident. In July DEEP concluded that there was insufficient evidence to bring charges against Clarke, according to a press release.
“The investigation determined that the homeowner had numerous encounters with the same bear over multiple days that caused him to fear for the safety of his family, for himself, and for his livestock,” the press release states.
Susan Winters, a Redding resident who runs “The Real Redding CT 411″ Facebook page that originally christened Bear #217 as Bobbi, is thrilled by Indra and Izzy’s progress. She follows the Kilham Bear Center on Instagram almost every day and enjoys seeing pictures of the cubs looking “healthy, inquisitive and playful.”
But she feels justice was not served in their mother’s death. Winters was among several animal rights activists and Newtown residents who spoke at a Police Commission meeting on Tuesday seeking answers and accountability for the bear’s killing.
According to a News 12 report on the meeting, “State’s Attorney David Applegate said during a public meeting he wants to hear what everyone has to say, and he does have the ability to file new charges.”
Winters is glad that the cubs went to the Kilham Bear Center and were not released into nature as DEEP originally wanted to do. She has helped raise money for the center and hopes others can do the same.
“I hope everyone who can will donate to the center,” she said.
Kilham said the cubs will remain in the forested enclosure through the winter and will be ready for release in late May or June when they are 18 months old, the age they would have naturally left their mother.
Kilham said biologists with the state of New Hampshire and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Enviromental Protection will determine exactly where they will be released.
If you would like to donate to the center visit their website. If you are interested in seeing Indra and Izzy check out the centers Instagram page, https://www.instagram.com/kilhambearcenter/, where pictures and videos are posted daily.