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Bears Sighted in Township, Police Warn

Animals spotted on Jay Road and Nicholson Drive on Friday morning.

Chatham Township Police said a resident reported a bear in a tree along Jay Road Thursday evening.

Sgt. Robert Scheetz said another resident on Nicholson Drive reported finding bear dung on his property Friday morning.

A Nxle alert released by Chatham Township Police Friday morning said bears have been sighted in the Sunset Drive.

Police warn residents not to approach or feed bears, which are likely looking for food before hibernation begins. Fines of up to $1,000 can be metered out for the offense.

More likely, though, bears will root through your garbage, pet food or bird feeders to find food. Once they know that they can find food in your neighborhood, they will likely come back for more.

Most conflicts with bears can be avoided if people follow a few key safety tips:

  • Look for a certified bear-resistant garbage container. While no garbage cans made of plastic are bear-proof, there are several businesses in the country who manufacture bear-resistant trash cans.
  • If you cannot find a bear-resistant trash can, store your trash inside your garage, basement or other secure area between trash days.
  • Wash your trash cans with disinfectant to eliminate the smell of food.
  • Take your trash to the curb the morning of collection day and not the night before.
  • Bring any bird feeders inside the house at night.
  • Hang a bird feeder at least 10 feet in the air from a free-hanging wire.
  • Clean any fruit, nuts or bird seed that spills in your yard each day.
  • If you feed your pets out of doors, dispose of any remaining pet food right away and bring the bowls inside between feeding times.
  • Consider an electric fence as a security measure to help protect property, yards, animals, crops and beehives.
Captain Jack December 01, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Pretty impressive to determine it was bear dung. I have seen big dung on my lawn thinking it was big dog or deer. Now I have to consider bear, or maybe Bigfoot.
Duncan Munchkin December 01, 2012 at 07:28 PM
While the safety tips are informative, I think you run the risk of freaking people out by posting a picture that you appropriated from the NJ Dept of Fish and Wildlife and left un-captioned to that effect.
wloglobal December 02, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Great picture. People need to be aware of this and take the steps mentioned in the article to help minimize the risk.
Captain Jack December 02, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Yes people need to take proper steps...just don't step on the dung.
Duncan Munchkin December 03, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Seriously Patch you should be reported for journalistic malpractice. The caption should read, "A bear. But not the one in Chatham township."
Alice Jameson December 03, 2012 at 11:05 AM
It’s too late for that warning. I just thank God the boots were waterproof; I had to put one under the garden hose forever.

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