LIVINGSTON, NJ — Following a bear sighting in the area of East Cedar Parkway on Monday as well as E. McClellan Ave. last week, the Livingston Police Department (LPD) re-posted its regular tips about what residents should do when they encounter one.

Residents of Livingston are reminded that black bears are indigenous to the area and have been co-existing with the human population of the North Jersey region for many years.

According to the LPD, the black bear of New Jersey has continued to adapt to living closer in proximity to people and human development and is learning to take advantage of human-derived food sources. The department assures residents that the LPD has a close working relationship with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife and receives regular updates on policies and procedures concerning the enforcement and protection of both people and the animals.

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At the direction of the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, the LPD’s current policy when alerted to a local bear sighting is to monitor the movement of the bear through continued calls from residents.

When a resident observes a black bear within the community, action is only required if the bear:

  • Poses a danger to the public;
  • Becomes treed;
  • Is injured; or
  • Is near a school in session.

Should any of these conditions exist, the LPD will respond and notify the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, which will then respond and help relocate the bear.

Should these conditions not exist, the LPD instructs residents to leave the area and allow the bear to continue on its way. If frightened, the bear will seek refuge by climbing trees, according to the LPD.

In order to minimize conflicts with bears, the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife advises residents to:

  • Secure trash and eliminate obvious sources of food, such as pet food on decks, easy-to-reach bird feeders or food residue left in barbeque grills;
  • Wash garbage containers frequently with disinfectant solution to remove odors;
  • Store all garbage containers with tight-fitting lids either in sheds, garage or any other secure area; and
  • Remove fruit or nuts that fall from trees in the yard.

Anyone who encounters a bear that is standing its ground should remain calm and not run. According to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, the individual should also make sure the bear has an escape route, avoid direct eye contact, back up slowly and speak with a low, assertive voice.

Additional information and facts about the black bear can be accessed at nffishandwildlife.com.

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