Black bears spotted in Montgomery and Franklin township over the long holiday weekend

A black bear roamed around the Princeton area for weeks last summer. Planet Princeton file photo submitted by a reader.

Residents of Franklin Township and Montgomery Township have reported seeing black bears roaming their neighborhoods in recent days.

A black bear was spotted in Franklin Township on June 30. A bear was also spotted in Montgomery on Saturday and Sunday, July 1 and 2, according to residents.

Bears are most active during the early morning and late evening hours in spring and summer. Mating often takes place in July. Both female and male bears may have more than one mate during the summer.

If you see a black bear, don’t attempt to approach it. 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.