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Warren Township Police Department
Thursday May 3rd, 2018 :: 09:49 a.m. EDT

Advisory

Warren Police would like to remind residents of safety tips & simple bear facts.

With black bears emerging from winter dens and entering a very active period of the year in search of food and mates, the Warren Police & the Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife is reminding residents, of basic precautions this spring to reduce the risk of potential encounters.

Bears that learn to associate food with people, and their homes and property, can easily become nuisance bears that forage for easy sources of food in neighborhoods. Residents can greatly reduce the risk of interactions with bears by taking commonsense steps. Most importantly, people should never feed bears, intentionally or unintentionally.

DEP wildlife experts stress that a black bear simply passing through an area and not causing a specific problem, such as breaking into trash or otherwise trying to access food sources on peoples’ properties or posing a safety threat, should be left alone. The Division of Fish and Wildlife advises people to leave the area and allow the bear to continue on its way. When frightened, bears may seek refuge by climbing trees.

The Division of Fish and Wildlife also offers the additional following tips to minimize conflicts with bears this spring:

  • Secure your trash and eliminate obvious sources of food, such as pet food on decks, easy-to-reach bird feeders, or food residues left in barbecue grills.
  • Use certified bear-resistant garbage containers if possible. Otherwise, store all garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids and place them along the inside walls of your garage, or in the basement, a sturdy shed or other secure area.
  • Wash garbage containers frequently with a disinfectant solution to remove odors. Put out garbage on collection day, not the night before.
  • Avoid feeding birds when bears are active. If you choose to feed birds, do so during daylight hours only and bring feeders indoors at night. Suspend birdfeeders from a free-hanging wire, making sure they are at least 10 feet off the ground. Clean up spilled seeds and shells daily.
  • Immediately remove all uneaten food and food bowls used by pets fed outdoors.
  • Clean outdoor grills and utensils to remove food and grease residue. Store grills securely.
  • Do not place meat or any sweet foods in compost piles.
  • Remove fruit or nuts that fall from trees in your yard.
  • Install electric fencing as an effective way to protect crops, beehives and livestock.

If you encounter a bear that is standing its ground, remain calm and do not run. Make sure the bear has an escape route. Avoid direct eye contact, back up slowly and speak with a low, assertive voice.

Residents should report bear damage, nuisance behavior or aggressive bears to the DEP Hotline at 1-877-WARN-DEP (877-927-6337) or the Warren Police at 908-753-1000.

Black bears have been sighted in all 21 New Jersey counties, and bear-human encounters have occurred more frequently in recent years in places outside of traditional bear country, defined as the area west of Interstate 287 and north of Interstate 78.

To learn more about New Jersey’s black bears, their history in New Jersey and ways to avoid problems with them, visit www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/bearfacts.htm.

The following bear safety tips are provided by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Black bears by nature tend to be wary of humans and avoid people. However, if you encounter a black bear in your neighborhood or outdoors while hiking or camping, follow these common-sense safety tips.

  • Never feed or approach a bear!
  • Remain calm.
  • Make the bear aware of your presence by speaking in an assertive voice, singing, clapping your hands, or making other noises.
  • Make sure the bear has an escape route. (If a bear enters your home, provide it with an escape route by propping all doors open.)
  • Avoid direct eye contact, which may be perceived by a bear as a challenge. Never run from a bear. Instead, slowly back away.
  • To scare the bear away, make loud noises by yelling, banging pots and pans or using an air horn. Make yourself look as big as possible by waving your arms. If you are with someone else, stand close together with your arms raised above your head.
  • The bear may utter a series of huffs, make popping jaw sounds by snapping its jaws and swat the ground. These are warning signs that you are too close. Slowly back away, avoid direct eye contact and do not run.
  • If a bear stands on its hind legs or moves closer, it may be trying to get a better view or detect scents in the air. It is usually not a threatening behavior.
  • Black bears will sometimes “bluff charge” when cornered, threatened or attempting to steal food. Stand your ground, avoid direct eye contact, then slowly back away. Do not run.
  • If the bear does not leave, move to a secure area.
  • Immediately notify the DEP's 24-hour, toll-free hotline: 1-877-WARN DEP (1-877-927-6337).
  • Families who live in areas with high black bear populations should have a “Bear Plan” in place for children, with whistles, air horns and an escape route.
  • Black bear attacks are extremely rare. If a black bear does attack, fight back

Address/Location
Warren Township Police Department
44 Mountain Boulevard
Warren, NJ 07059

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 908-753-1000

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