Bear sightings in Winslow Township

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bear sightings in Winslow Township have prompted officials to issue warnings to residents.

The first sighting was along the Old White Horse Pike yesterday.

The second sighting was by a passing motorist along US 30 and Fleming Pike today at approximately 6:00 a.m.

The most recent sighting was along Hay Road at approximately 11:00 a.m.

The Winslow Township Police Department has provided these tips to avoid attracting bears:

  • 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 the 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.

    In addition, Winslow police issued the following tips on what to do if you encounter a 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!!!

    Authorities ask anyone who encounters a bear to call 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

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