Bears spotted in 3 Central NJ towns — and caught on video swimming
LAWRENCEVILLE — A swimming bear was one of several bruins sighted around New Jersey over the weekend and on Monday.
Princeton Police said a bear was spotted near Winant Road and the Hun School of Princeton on Monday morning and headed in a southeast direction.
Bordentown Police issued a warning on Saturday after a bear was spotted for the third time at the Laurel Run Village apartments off Route 206. The bear stood approximately 6 feet tall and left the area into the woods behind nearby Bordentown Storage.
A bear sighting on Sunday morning prompted Lawrence Police to put out an alert.
A resident on Surrey Drive in Lawrenceville spotted a bear on Sunday morning in his backyard swimming pool. Police put out a warning to make people aware but didn't take any further action.
"The bear's just wandering, not harming anybody," spokesman Lt. Joseph Amodio told New Jersey 101.5. There have not been any additional sightings.
It's not the first time a bear has taken a swim in a New Jersey backyard. A Rockaway family in August, 2015 caught a solid 20 minutes of perfect video from their window of a mother bear with 5 cubs invading their pool, swimming, playing with their floaties, sliding down their sliding board, playing with the swings and more.
The DEP offers several tips on what to do if encountering a black bear in your yard or outdoors while hiking or camping.
- Never feed or approach a bear.
- Remain calm if you encounter a bear. Do not run from it.
- 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.
- 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 pots and pans or using an airhorn. 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!
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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