Residents have reported seeing a black bear or bears in the Drakes Corner, Great Road, and Cherry Valley Road area the last few days, Princeton Animal Control Officer Nat Barson said today.
A man who works in the Drakes Corner area saw what he thought was bear prints a little over a week ago, and then on Saturday night he saw a bear in the area of Cherry Valley Road and the Great Road, Barson said. The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife was notified about the bear sighting today.
Black Bears are native to New Jersey and have been sighted in all 21 New Jersey counties. Black Bears are omnivorous and will eat a wide variety of food including fruit, nuts, trash, meat scraps and more.
Following are tips from Barson to reduce bear related encounters:
- Secure your trash in bear resistant garbage containers or with tight fitting lids to reduce odors.
- Clean any food scraps from grills porches and decks, and keep meet scraps out of compost piles.
- Pets should not be fed outdoors unless absolutely necessary
- Immediately remove all uneaten food and bowls used by pets fed outdoors (NO food after dark).
- Never hang bird feeders in easy to reach locations (feeders should be at least 10 feet in the air).
- Put out garbage on collection day, not the night before.
- Wash garbage containers with disinfectant to remove odors.
- Secure beehives, livestock, and fruit crops with electric fence.
Residents should report bear damage, nuisance behavior or aggressive bears to the DEP Hotline at 1-877-WARN-DEP (877-927-6337) or call the police department. Additional bear information can be found on the DEP website.