Bears with taste for birthday cake spotted at South Brunswick park
SOUTH BRUNSWICK — Police in South Brunswick warned residents to stay away from Woodlot Park after three bears were spotted on Monday.
The two bear cubs and a larger bear were spotted at the park on New Road but are not considered to be posing a risk, according to the police.
According to the South Brunswick township website, the park hosts a daily day camp program for kids that uses the park's pavilion and the community center.
TAP into South Brunswick reported the bears were eating birthday cake out of a garbage can and were first spotted by hikers on trails inside the 152 acre park. Recreation Director Tom Morris told the news site that one of the cubs were spotted by the paviliion and a camp class of young children were kept inside. Police said on Tuesday morning the bears had not returned.
No activities have been cancelled at the park because of the bears. Morris said he believes they are just hungry and are looking for food from weekend actives at the park.
Morris told the site that police chased the bears into the woods but they returned around noon and then wandered back into the surrounding forest.
Police have issued alerts earlier this summer for bears spotted in the Kingston and Kendall Park areas as well as in the Beekman Road area.
Spokesman Larry Hajna of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection said of many bear sightings around the state that bears are expanding their territory. “It’s really nothing unusual for bears to be turning up in residential areas and in other parts of the state. We’ve seen urban bears in some pretty developed communities where there’s really no habitat around for them to dodge into or escape to.”
South Brunswick Police and the DEP offer these tips if you encounter a bear:
- Never Feed the bears
- Never instigate the bears by cornering them or throwing objects at them.
- Cover garbage cans with a secure lid
- Avoid bird feeders during bear season
- Immediately remove all uneaten food and food bowls used by pets fed outdoors.
- If you encounter a bear remain calm and do not run. Make sure the bear has an escape route.
- Avoid direct eye contact and back up slowly
- If unsure about whether police response is necessary, call the South Brunswick Police Department’s non-emergency phone number, 732-329-4646.
David Matthau contributed to this report