|Two female black bear cubs that are safe to observe up close |
in the new Black Bear Exhibit at Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange.
Of course, as curious as we are about them, you are cautioned to stay clear bears even though they are generally not aggressive and have moved through towns without incident. Never feed or approach a bear! Still, it is worth reposting some safety tips.
- If a bear enters your home, provide it with an escape route by propping all doors open. Even in outdoor spaces, make sure the bear has an escape route.
- Avoid direct eye contact.
- 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 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.
- Make the bear aware of your presence by speaking in an assertive voice, singing, clapping your hands, or making other noises.