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Black Bear Sightings in Princeton

black-bear-by-pat-gaines-cc1A black bear was seen near Arreton Road and Route 206 last night, Princeton Police said. Residents reported spotting the bear on other properties in the area.

Earlier in the day, a black bear was spotted in a yard in the Woods Edge housing development in Montgomery and on other properties along the Montgomery-Princeton border. On Monday a bear was spotted at the Village Elementary School in Montgomery, and there was another bear sighting in the Mountainview section of Ewing.

If you spot a bear, call your local police.

Bear Tips from the state DEP:

– Never feed or approach a bear.

– Remain calm if you encounter a bear.

– 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 and 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 behavior.

– 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 and do not run.

– If the bear does not leave, move to a secure area.

– Report black bear damage or nuisance behavior to the DEP’s 24-hour, toll-free hotline at 1-877-WARN DEP (1-877-927-6337).

– Families who live in areas frequented by black bears should have a “Bear Plan” in place for children, with an escape route and planned use of whistles and air horns.

Photo: Pat Gaines, Creative Commons license.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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