Black bear sightings reported in the Princeton region over the past week

A black bear in Titusville. Photo by Randall Hagadorn.

A female bear visited Randall and Joan Hagadorn’s yard in Titusville last week, apparently looking for some snacks. She found two bird feeders mounted on the top of large, sturdy poles and knocked them down.

“The bear bent both poles flat to the ground,” Randall Hagadorn said. “It took a fair amount of effort.”

Hagadorn, a professional photographer, was able to capture photos of the bear from a safe distance — inside his house.

The incident was one reminder that it’s that time of year when black bears are active in New Jersey. A few days after the Titusville sighting in Hopewell Township, bears were also seen in South Brunswick and North Brunswick.

Black Bears are the largest land mammal in New Jersey. They have been seen in all 21 New Jersey counties. They are omnivorous and will eat a wide variety of food including fruit, nuts, trash, meat scraps and more.

Following are tips 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.
  • 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 an 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.