NEW JERSEY RESIDENTS TO BE ALERT
BEARS ARE RE-EMERGING
FROM WINTER HIBERNATION
(05/36) TRENTON - Department of Environmental Protection
(DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell is urging residents of
Northern and Central New Jersey to bear-proof the areas around
their residences to prevent bear intrusions. Further, Campbell
urges residents statewide to keep an eye out for bear sightings.
As the weather continues to get warmer, black bears become more
active searching for food and mates.
"Knowing how to prevent bears from coming close to your
home is the first step toward safety," said DEP Fish and
Wildlife Director Martin J. McHugh. "One of the best ways
to discourage nuisance bears is by storing garbage properly, by
keeping pets and livestock in enclosed areas, and by keeping all
food products - like bird seed - away from wildlife. Taking preventive
steps now can protect you and your family during the spring and
summer months to come."
NEVER FEED A BLACK BEAR! It's dangerous
and against the law.
Violators could face a penalty of up to a $1,000 for each offense.
Remember that reducing problems with bears is a community effort.
Form a community group within your neighborhood to keep all residents
- Invest in bear-proof garbage containers. Store all garbage
in airtight containers with tight fitting lids in a secure area
such as a basement, the inside wall of a garage, or a shed.
- Wash garbage containers frequently - at least once a week
- with a disinfectant to eliminate odors. Draping bleach-soaked
cloth over containers will also help to eliminate odors.
- Put garbage out on collection day, not the evening before.
- Do not place meat or sweet food scraps in compost piles.
- Feed birds only between December 1 and April 1, when bears
are in dens and less likely to visit feeders.
- Feed outdoor pets during daylight hours only. Immediately
remove all food scraps and bowls after feeding.
- Clean outdoor grills thoroughly after each use. Grease and
food residue can attract bears.
Report bear damage or nuisance behavior to the local police department
or to the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife at (908) 735-8793.
To learn more about New Jersey's black bears, visit the department's
Web site at www.njfishandwildlife.com.