DEP URGES NORTH JERSEY
RESIDENTS TO BEAR-PROOF THEIR SURROUNDINGS
(03/35) Trenton The New Jersey
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) urges residents
to be diligent in bear-proofing their surroundings this
spring. As the weather slowly warms, black bears become
more active as they leave their dens and begin foraging
"Bears are most active in the spring
and early summer," said DEP Commissioner Bradley Campbell.
"In order for residents to avoid problems with bears,
precautionary measures must be taken."
The DEP offers the following tips for avoiding
problems associated with bears:
- Store garbage in airtight containers in a secure area
such as a basement or against the inside wall of a garage.
- Wash containers frequently with a disinfectant to eliminate
odors that might attract bears.
- Put garbage out in the morning, not the evening before.
- If you must hang birdfeeders, hang them at least 10
feet off the ground from a free hanging wire. Birds can
find natural foods from the spring through fall seasons.
- Feed outdoor pets during daylight hours only. Remove
all food scraps and bowls immediately after feeding.
- Thoroughly clean barbecue grills after each use since
grease residue and odors can attract bears.
- Protect beehives and livestock. Electric fencing is
sometimes effective in preventing black bear damage.
- NEVER FEED A BLACK BEAR! It is now illegal to feed
black bears in New Jersey and violators are subject to
a maximum penalty of $1,000. Bears that are fed either
intentionally or unintentionally can become aggressive.
- Use common sense in a bear encounter. Remain calm, never
approach the animal and always give it an escape route.
Report aggressive bears immediately to
the NJDEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife at (908)-735-8793.
Nuisance or damage problems should also be reported to the
same number. Immediate threats to life or property should
be reported to your local police department.
To learn more about New Jersey's black
bears, visit the Division of Fish and Wildlife's website
or call (908)-637-4125. Programs for schools and civic organizations
are available free of charge, as are brochures and other
materials on living in bear country.