MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) – Manchester Township police are warning of a black bear after residents spotted the 200 to 250-pound wanderer in the Cedar Glen Homes and Holly Oaks area of the township.
The bear was climbing a tree in the yard of a Holly Oaks home on Sunday evening, police said in a press release on its Facebook page.READ MORE: Four Children Among Five Killed In Pottstown Home Explosion, Police Say
According to the police release, officers used sirens, air horns and water hoses to drive the bear into a wooded area near the Jackson and Toms River border.
The bear did not pose any immediate threat to safety, so lethal force cannot be used on the animal, but police still caution residents “to be vigilant as to its presence in the area.”
In case the bear makes its way back into the residential area, police suggest the following bear safety tips from the Division of Fish and Wildlife:
· Never feed or approach a bear!
· Remain calm if you encounter a bear.
· Make the bear aware of your presence by speaking in an assertive voice, singing, clapping your hands, or making other noises.
· Make sure the bear has an escape route.
· If a bear enters your home, provide it with an escape route by propping all doors open.READ MORE: Beach Erosion Will Keep One-Third Of North Wildwood Beaches Closed Memorial Day Weekend
· Avoid direct eye contact, which may be perceived by a bear as a challenge. Never run from a bear. Instead, slowly back away.
· To scare the bear away, make loud noises by yelling, banging and pans or using an air horn. Make yourself look as big as possible by waving your arms. If you are with someone else, stand close together with your arms raised above your head.
· The bear may utter a series of huffs, make popping jaw sounds by snapping its jaws and swat the ground. These are warning signs that you are too close. Slowly back away, avoid direct eye contact and do not run.
· If a bear stands on its hind legs or moves closer, it may be trying to get a better view or detect scents in the air. It is usually not a threatening behavior.
· Black bears will sometimes “bluff charge” when cornered, threatened or attempting to steal food. Stand your ground, avoid direct eye contact, then slowly back away and do not run.
· If the bear does not leave, move to a secure area.
· Report black bear damage or nuisance behavior to the DEP’s 24-hour, toll-free hotline at 1-877-WARN DEP (1-877-927-6337).
· Families who live in areas frequented by black bears should have a “Bear Plan” in place for children, with an escape route and planned use of whistles and air horns.
· Black bear attacks are extremely rare. If a black bear does attack, fight back.CBS3 SummerFest: 2 St. Joe's Grads Bringing New Tiki Cruise Experience For Adults To Wildwood
The Division of Fish and Wildlife’s website also has more information about black bears in the New Jersey area.