What to Do if You See a Black Bear - NBC 10 Philadelphia

What to Do if You See a Black Bear

Info from the Winslow Twp. Police Dept.



    What to Do if You See a Black Bear
    Winslow Twp. Police Dept.
    June 25, 2012: A black bear sighting near Hay Road in Winslow Township, New Jersey.

    There have been recent bear sightings over the last two days in Winslow Township.  the first sighting was along the Old White Horse Pike, in the Waterford section of the township.  This sighting was confirmed by police.

    The second sighting was by a passing motorist along US 30 and Fleming Pike today at approximately 06:00 am.

    The most recent sighting was along Hay Road today at approximately 11:00 am.

    The Winslow Township Police Department would like to provide the following Bear facts for homeowners:

    Take steps to avoid attracting bears with food or garbage is the best way to prevent black bears from becoming a nuisance near your home.

    • Store all you garbage in containers with tight fitting lids and place them along the inside walls of your garage or in the basement, sturdy shed or other secure area.
    • Wash garbage containers with disinfectant solution regularly to remove odors.
    • Put out garbage on collection day, not he night before.
    • Clean outdoor grills and utensils thoroughly after each use and store grills securely.
    • Do not place meat or any sweet foods in compost piles.
    • Avoid feeding birds in an area frequented by bears.
    • Pick up fruit or nuts that fall from trees and discard it in garbage containers with tight fitting lids.

    What to do if you encounter a bear...


    • DO NOT FEED the BEAR!
    • Remain calm and make the bear aware of your presence by speaking in a calm, assertive voice.
    • Make sure that the bear has an escape route
    • Yell, bang pots and pans or use an air horn to scare away the bear.  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 sounds by snapping its jaws and swat the ground.  These are warning signs that you are too close.  slowly back away and avoid direct eye contact.
    • 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 not usually a threatening behavior.
    • Black bears will sometimes bluff charge when cornered, threatened or attempting to steal food.  Stand your ground, avoid direct eye contact and then slowly back away. DO NOT RUN!!!
    • If the bear will not leave, head for nearby shelter.  Remember that the black bear attacks are extremely rare.  If a black bear does attack, FIGHT BACK!!!

    Some additional bear facts. Did you know?

    • Black bears are usually solitary animals that are most active at dawn and dusk.
    • Black bears have excellent senses of smell and hearing.
    • Black bears can run up to 35 mph. they are string swimmers and excellent climbers.
    • Black bears eat both plants and animals.
    • Adult females average 175 pounds; adult males average 400 pounds.
    • Not all black bears are black.  They can be brown, cinnamon, blonde, white and even gray-blue.  Fifteen percent of New Jersey's bears have a white chest blaze.
    • Breeding season runs from late May until August, peaking June and July.  Cubs are born in January and weigh about 8 ounces to 16 ounces.  The average litter size is three.  Cubs remain with the female until she breeds again 16 months to 18 months later.

    REMEMBER:  Immediately notify Winslow Township Police at (609) 561-3300 or the Division of Fish and Wildlife at 1 (877) 927-6337 if you encounter an aggressive bear.

    The above information has been provided by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.  You can visit their website at www.njfishandwildlife.com

    Below are some of the actual pictures that were taken of the most recent bear sighting.  We do not encourage getting close to the bear if it is sighted for a photo op.  This can have a deadly outcome.  If anyone spots the bear, Winslow Township Police request you call the department with the bears current location.  If a photo can be taken safely, please mail it along with the location to the email address below.

    Please forward all questions and concerns to facebook@winslowpolice.com