Bear put down after killing miniature horse in Southbury; horse owner speaks out

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SOUTHBURY -- A bear was euthanized after it fatally attacked a miniature horse Saturday.

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officials said a female bear in Southbury was put down after it attacked two miniature horses, killing one of them.

"It was horrible because she was our pet," horse owner Francis Moon said. "She was pretty helpless."

Moon said his daughter was leaving the home Saturday, around 6:30 p.m., when she heard their horse Savannah screaming from her pen in the backyard.

"I turned the flashlight on and the bear was standing over her and unfortunately by that time, I think Savannah was already dead," he said. "She just wasn’t moving and she wasn’t making any noise."

He said he tried to shine light at the bear, throw rocks at it, and distract it from Savannah, but it would not back away from the horse. He said his other horse, Precious, was not harmed by the bear.

Moon called police and DEEP. An Encon officer arrived shortly after and euthanized the 150-pound female bear. A DEEP spokesperson said the bear hadn't been previously tagged by the agency.

"We were worried if the bear ran off, we’d have the same issue later or it could hurt somebody else," Moon said. "It can hurt kids if it hurt an 120 pound animal."

He's hoping his tragic story will remind pet owners to keep a close eye on their animals.

Moon said his mini horse Savannah was 15- years-old and had been with the family for 10-years.

"It's sad that it's two animals that neither one of them this should have happened to," Moon said. "It's a complete feeling of helplessness because you can’t do anything."

According to DEEP, in Connecticut, most bears hibernate from late November through mid-march. In the past year, there have been about 95 reported bear sightings in Southbury and more than 5,800 in the state.