Be on alert, New Jersey - Hibernation is over!

New Jersey officials are warning residents to be aware of black bears this spring as they emerge from hibernation.

A Black Bear is looking out of a Forest in Canada
Getty Images
SoJO 104.9 FM logo
Get our free mobile app

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection issued a statement saying:

"As black bears emerge from their dens this spring, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is reminding residents and outdoor enthusiasts to take steps to reduce the potential for encounters, including reducing food sources, such as unsecured trash, that can attract bears."

In the more southern areas of New Jersey, black bear sightings are not very common, but don't let that put your guard down. They have been sighted in all 21 counties at least once.

How can I prevent a black bear encounter?

Here are some safety tips recommended by the NJDEP:

  • Secure trash and don't leave food objects outside, including pet bowls, bird feeders, or food resident left on outdoor grills
  • If possible, use bear-resistant garbage containers
  • Remember to wash garbage containers frequently to eliminate the smells
  • Bears eat seeds too! If you want to use a bird feeder, only leave them out during daytime hours, and be sure to clean up seeds fallen on the ground.
  • Clear your outdoor grills to eliminate the smells and store them properly.
  • Consider installing electric fencing.

What should I do if I encounter a black bear?

American Black Bear
Getty Images

NJDEP instructs residents to STAY CALM. Never run from a bear. 

Slowly back away, avoid eye direct contact and make a lot of noise to scare the bear away. Wave your arms to make yourself look as big as possible.

For more information about black bears in New Jersey and what to do in case of an encounter, click HERE.

10 Pets that are Illegal to Own in Pennsylvania

Sorry, animals lovers! There are just some animals you can't have as pets in Pennsylvania.

Gallery Credit: Austyn

New Jersey's Most Dangerous Gangs and Mobsters

New Jersey has a reputation for its famous and infamous gangs and mobsters. Some are still striking fear into communities throughout the state.

Gallery Credit: Rick Rickman

More From SoJO 104.9 FM