- by Carolyne Volpe Curley / Carolyne@WestEssexNOW.com
Fairfield Deputy Chief Anthony Manna commented,
"In most cases, a black bear, if not cornered, will be wary of people.
However, black bears that are accompanied with their cubs,
present the need for residents to have a heightened level of awareness."
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Agency Bear Facts
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 if you encounter a bear
- 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 and 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 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 1-877-927-6337
- 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!
"While it is perfectly appropriate for residents seeing a bear
to notify the police department, it should be understood
that the police department’s response to such incidents
are limited unless the black bear becomes a nuisance
or an immediate threat to human life," Manna commented.
Fairfield Police Department
Fairfield Deputy Police Chief Anthony Manna
230 Fairfield Road
Fairfield, NJ 07004