LIVINGSTON, NJ — Throughout recent weeks, the Livingston Police Department (LPD) has fielded a number of calls concerning the sightings of a black bear present in the Township of Livingston.
According to the LPD, which addressed the situation this week, the black bear of New Jersey has continued to adapt to living closer in proximity to people and human development—and the bears, subsequently, are learning to take advantage of human-derived food sources. Over the past couple of years, Livingston has been home to the black bear.
“We want to assure the residents of Livingston that the Police Department has a close working relationship with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife,” the department said in a release. “In that capacity, we receive updates on the current policies and procedures concerning the enforcement and protection of both people and the animals.”
At the direction of the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, the Livingston Police Department’s current policy when receiving a call of a bear sighting is to monitor the movement of the bear. The department monitors the movement of the bear through continued and updated calls from residents.
There are only four instances when action is required: if the bear poses a danger to the public; the bear becomes treed; the bear is injured; or the bear is seen near a school that is in session.
Should any of these conditions exist, the department will respond and notify the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, whereupon the Division will then respond and help relocate the bear. Should these conditions not exist, police are instructing residents to leave the area and allow the bear to continue on its way.
When frightened, according to police, the bear will seek refuge by climbing trees. The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife offer some additional tips to minimize conflicts with bears:
• Secure any 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. Also, store all garbage containers with tight-fitting lids either in sheds, garage or any other secure area.
• Remove fruit or nuts that fall from trees into the yard.
If a resident encounters a bear that is standing its ground, police advise that he or she remain calm and does not run. Residents should also make sure that the bear has an escape route—then avoid direct eye contact, back up slowly and speak with a low, assertive voice.
As a reminder, black bears have been indigenous and have co-existed with the human population of the Northern New Jersey region for many years, although they are seemingly new to the Livingston community.
Additional information and facts about the black bear can be accessed HERE.