WARREN, NJ - A bear has been sighted in the area of Stirling Road across from Woodland School and Watchung Hills Regional High School, a Warren resident reported.
Warren resident Joanne Harrison said, "took a whole bag (of garbage) and walked off with it !! First time for everything ... hope it's the last ! It was bigger then me !!"
Residents are reminded to keep a safe distance and report sightings.
Do not approach bears and contact local authorities if witnessed.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection offers the following tips for staying safe if one spots a bear in their neighborhood:
• Never feed or approach a bear.
• Remain calm.
• Make the bear aware of your presence by speaking in an assertive voice, singing, clapping your hands, or making other noises.
• Make sure the bear has an escape route.
• If a bear enters your home, provide it with an escape route by propping all doors open.
• Avoid direct eye contact, which may be perceived by a bear as a challenge. Never run from a bear. Instead, slowly back away.
• To scare the bear away, make loud noises by yelling, banging pots and pans or using an airhorn. 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 jaw sounds by snapping its jaws and swat the ground. These are warning signs that you are too close. Slowly back away, avoid direct eye contact and do not run.
• 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 usually not a threatening
• Black bears will sometimes “bluff charge” when cornered, threatened or attempting to steal food. Stand your ground, avoid direct eye contact, then slowly back away. Do not run.
• If the bear does not leave, move to a secure area.
• Immediately notify the DEP's 24-hour, toll-free hotline at 1-877-WARN DEP (1-877-927-6337).
• Families who live in areas with high black bear populations should have a “Bear Plan” in place for children, with whistles, air horns and
an escape route.
• Black bear attacks are extremely rare. If a black bear does
attack, fight back.