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Bear Safety Advice from Experts

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With the recent rash of bear sightings, the Fyke Board has suggested everyone get the word out about what to do if you encounter a bear.

Great idea -- especially since a neighbor on Louis Court put their trash out last night (instead of keeping it on an enclosed porch) and had it ransacked.

The advice from the state's Division of Fish and Wildlife is here. (Thanks, Fyke!)

I wrote a column for The Record last December about the bear problem,  which included the following birdfeeder-related advice:

The answer is not to install a sturdier feeder pole or buy more-durable feeders, as some folks do. The answer is to remove your feeders at night or not put up your feeders until the temperature stays much colder.

A hungry bear at a feeder is a potentially dangerous situation for both humans and bears.

Larry Hajna of the State Department of Environmental Protection explains. “The more a bear equates a property with food, the more likely it is to hang around not just your house but your neighbors, and they become less afraid of humans. They can start looking for handouts, and when they do that they can become more aggressive.”

Hajna says that could result in somebody getting hurt or in major property damage, and the bear could be euthanized.

Bears that keep raiding feeders could be deemed nuisance bears, to be trapped and relocated -- expensive, and not so great for the uprooted bear.

Most folks in bear country know these basics already, along with such fundamentals as securing their garbage cans.

But bears can range into the suburbs, so other North Jersey residents need to be aware.   

You can read the entire column here.

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