Don't approach, feed, or even make direct eye contact with black bears. That's just some of the advise issued by the Manchester Police Department after residents in the Roosevelt section reported black bear sightings this morning.

Township Police Public Information Officer, Captain Lisa Parker said the bruin is not believed to have caused any significant disturbances. She said Manchester Police and the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife were able to relocate the bear into the boundaries of the Pasadena Wildlife Management Area, a tract of preserved land located in Ocean and Burlington Counties.

In a press release Parker said, "by nature, black bears tend to be wary of people. Since it is possible the bear may wander back into residential areas, they're advising residents to become familiar with the following bear safety tips published on the division of Fish and Wildlife website. (www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/bearfacts_safetytips.htm)

  • 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.
  • 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 air horn. Make yourself look as big as possible by waving your arms. If you or 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 to 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 bear does attack, fight back!

Please consults the Division of fish and Wildlife's "know the Bear Facts: Black Bears in New Jersey for additional information (www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/bearfacts.htm)"