WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (Morris County) – The bears are emerging and they’re hungry.
Police are asking residents to be careful with their garbage after a bear was captured on camera carrying a bag of garbage in its mouth from a home in Long Valley.
The incident occurred on Monday at a Barstann Court residence, police said.
“Please remember not to leave garbage exposed to encourage bears to visit the area.” police said.
Black bears have emerged from winter dens and are entering a very active period of the year throughout New Jersey in search of food and mates, which makes encounters with humans more likely, according to Department of Environmental Protection biologists.
New Jersey residents, especially families living in “bear country’’ in Northwest Jersey, are urged to take a few basic precautions this spring to reduce the risk of potential encounters.
“Black bears learn very quickly and bears that are fed intentionally or unintentionally by carelessly leaving out food or garbage will associate people with food. Bears will eat almost anything including human food, garbage, pet food, birdseed and small livestock. Once they find an easily accessible food source, like garbage in a housing development, they will lose their wariness of people and may return to the available food source. These bears can become a nuisance or aggressive and may have to be trapped and aversively conditioned or destroyed,” NJDEP said.
For more information about avoiding bear encounters and bear safety tips, Visit the NJ DEP website www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/bearfacts.htm
If you live in Washington Township and need assistance with a bear on your property you’re encouraged to call 908.876.3232 and press “0”.
(Photos Courtesy: Washington Township Police)