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Ewing, NJ 08628
Be sure to properly secure your trash and take precautions to reduce risk of encounters.
We think it important to share a recent NJ DEP warning about taking steps to reduce the potential for encounters with black bears now beginning to emerge from their winter dens.
Black bears (Ursus americanus) are the largest land mammal in New Jersey with an increasing population that has been expanding its range both southward and eastward from the forested areas of northwestern New Jersey (including Morris, Sussex, Warren and northern Passaic counties, and portions of Hunterdon, Somerset, and Bergen counties). They have been sighted in all of New Jersey’s 21 counties. There were numerous bear sightings in Ewing in 2022.
It is important to remember that bears are an integral part of the state’s natural heritage and are a vital component of healthy ecosystems. They are omnivorous, eating plants, berries, insects, prey animals such as white tail deer fawns, carrion, and human garbage or food leftovers.
Spring is a time when bears are very active. They have emerged from their dens and are actively foraging for food. People who live or visit areas of the state where bears are out should be alert to their presence and take steps to avoid interactions with them.
Black bear attacks are extremely rare. In fact, by nature, bears are wary of people. If a black bear does attack, fight back. According to DEP Fish & Wildlife Assistant Commissioner David Golden: “People can reduce the likelihood of attracting bears if they diligently bear-proof their property by removing or properly securing any potential food sources. It is also critically important for people to never feed black bears. Feeding bears is dangerous, illegal and may result in bears becoming aggressive.”
The DEP offers the following tips for property owners and outdoor enthusiasts to minimize conflicts with bears:
Following these suggestions is essential to reducing bear encounters because they will learn to associate food with people and their homes and begin to forage in neighborhoods for food. Nuisance bears can cause property damage, approach humans for food and become dangerous. Intentionally feeding bears is illegal in New Jersey and carries a fine of up to $1,000.
If you encounter a black bear in your neighborhood or outdoors while hiking, birding, fishing, or camping, follow these safety tips:
Report black bear damage or aggressive bears to the Ewing Police department at 609-882-1313 or call Fish & Wildlife at 1-(877) WARN DEP (1-877-927-6337).
For more information about black bears in New Jersey, visit dep.nj.gov/njfw/bears/.
New Jersey Black Bear Education and Safety Video from the NJDEP
Photo credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20017968" width="382" height="53"