The elementary school in Princeton with a mascot named “Riverbear” received an unannounced visit from a real bear on the school grounds Thursday night. Princeton resident Andrew Leman captured the black bear on video at about 8 p.m. Thursday as it climbed a fence at the Riverside School.
The bear was spotted wandering around Tyson Lane neighborhood near Poe Road in the northeastern section of Princeton on Thursday evening. It was also spotted by several residents in the Riverside neighborhood Thursday night, and most recently was seen wandering around the Hartley Avenue area on Friday morning.
Officials caution that residents should not attempt to approach the bear. 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 New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Hotline at 1-877-WARN-DEP (877-927-6337) or call the police department. Additional bear information can be found on the DEP website.