Many people who live in the NNJ listening area are used to seeing bears from time to time. Its one of the great things about living in this part of the country. While black bears are generally non-aggressive , its important to remember some simple basics if you happen to cross paths with a bruin, especially if its a female with cubs.
The most common bear problem most residents experience is black bears getting into their garbage. Bears are attracted to garbage odors, so properly securing your garbage is one of the best ways to prevent bears from becoming a nuisance in your community. If a bear does get into your trash, its your responsibility to clean it up again.
Here are the basics taken from the NJDEP Division of Fish & Wildlifes website- Bear Safety Tips
- Never feed or approach a bear! Remain calm if you encounter a bear. Do not run from it.
- 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 airhorn. 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 and do not run.
- If the bear does not leave, move to a secure area.
- Report black bear damage or nuisance behavior to the DEP's 24-hour, toll-free hotline at 1-877-WARN DEP (1-877-927-6337).
- Families who live in areas frequented by black bears should have a "Bear Plan" in place for children, with an escape route and planned use of whistles and air horns.
- Black bear attacks are extremely rare. If a black bear does attack, fight back!
More info can be found at the NJ Fish and Game website
You can listen to the NNJ Outdoor Minute for more cool outdoor related information including Trout fishing , Dangerous Tick info and of course black bear safety.