Residents on the east side of town are being asked by town officials to take precautions after a black bear was sighted in the eastern part of New Canaan near Thayer Pond and Valley roads.

Still considered rare this far south in the state, sightings of the bears have been on the increase in the state in recent years as a result of development, according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

The June 26 sighting was the third in the general area since late March, when a bear was spotted near 581 Laurel Road, and May 10 when a bear was photographed in a yard at 836 Valley Road.

Residents are asked to take the following precautions to avoid attracting bears to their property:

Remove birdfeeders and bird food from their yard.

Place garbage cans inside a garage or shed — add ammonia to your trash to make it unpalatable.

Clean and store grills indoors after use.

Do not allow dogs outside without a leash (especially if they start barking in the early hours of the morning). Pet doors should be closed in the evening.

Protect livestock with electric fencing and move them into barns at night.

Reinforce beehives to prevent them from being knocked over or protect them with electric fencing.

Any bear sightings should be reported to the New Canaan Police Department at 203-594-3500.