(This letter was originally published in the Hartford Courant)

In recent weeks, wildlife has been in the news, from bears who are forcing their way into homes in Canton [Page 1, Aug. 7, “Bear Breaks Into Canton Home”] to hawks reportedly injuring Bridgeport residents and to coyote sightings. You’d think Connecticut was a wild frontier of dangerous animals ready to pounce. But really, it’s just wildlife living in close quarters with humans who have been pushed from their habitats by overdevelopment.

And inevitably, the answer to how to mitigate conflict seems to always be the same. It’s the wildlife that are the pests: Remove them, shoot them, eliminate them.

But there are better ways to ease tensions.

If you live in bear territory, consider a reinforced door instead of a screen door, and keep bear bells or spray around to scare off foraging bears. Don’t feed them, ever. If a hawk is swooping, it’s likely on its lunch hour, diving for food. Or maybe there’s a nest nearby and the hawk is worried that you will hurt its children and thus, the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection should relocate them.

Remember, we all share this land. Let’s do whatever we can to give animals their space as well.

Priscilla Feral, Darien

The writer is president of Friends of Animals.