WARREN, NJ - The bears are back. And a coyote was spotted. A black bear was seen Thursday, May 1 on Valley Road and a coyote was seen earlier this week near Childs Road in Basking Ridge.
The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife advises what to do If you encounter a bear:
Do not feed the bear.
Remain calm, and make the bear aware of your presence.
Make sure the bear has an escape route. Yell, bang pots and pans, or use an airhorn to scare away the bear. 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 sounds by snapping its jaws, and swat the ground. These are warning signs that you are too close. Slowly back away. 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 usually is not threatening behavior.
Black bears will sometimes “bluff charge” when cornered, threatened or attempting to steal food. Stand your ground, and then slowly back away.
If the bear will not leave, head for nearby shelter. Immediately notify local police or the Division of Fish and Wildlife at (877) 927-6337, if you encounter an aggressive bear.
The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife advises with egards to coyotes:
The coyote is a wild member of the dog family and closely resembles a small German shepherd with the exception of its long snout and bushy, black-tipped tail. Another key difference from a domestic dog is readily noticeable even from a distance: The coyote has a habit of holding its tail below a horizontal position while standing, walking and running.
Coyotes, along with foxes, are sometimes afflicted with mange which can result in significant hair loss. The loss of fur can result in making identification of a coyote difficult, resulting in reports of a "mystery" animal, or even a cougar.
Coyotes play an important role in the ecosystem, helping to keep rodent populations under control. They are by nature wary of humans. However, coyote behavior changes if given access to human food and garbage. They lose caution and fear.
The following guidelines can help reduce the likelihood of conflicts with coyotes:
Never feed a coyote.
Deliberately feeding coyotes puts pets and other residents at risk.
Feeding pet cats and/or feral (wild) cats outdoors can attract coyotes. The coyotes feed on the pet food and also prey upon the cats. Put garbage in tightly closed containers that cannot be tipped over.
Remove sources of water, especially in dry climates.
Bring pets in at night.
Put away bird feeders at night to avoid attracting rodents and other coyote prey.
Provide secure enclosures for rabbits, poultry, and other farm animals.
Pick up fallen fruit and cover compost piles.
Although extremely rare, coyotes have been known to attack humans. Parents should monitor their children, even in familiar surroundings, such as backyards. Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house.
Clear brush and dense weeds from around dwellings - this reduces protective cover for coyotes and makes the area less attractive to rodents and rabbits. Coyotes, as well as other predators, are attracted to areas where rodents are concentrated like woodpiles.
If coyotes are present, make sure they know they're not welcome. Make loud noises, blast a canned air siren, throw rocks, or spray them with a garden hose.
Past interbreeding between wolves and coyotes may be responsible for the larger size and color variations in the eastern coyote.
If you observe coyotes in the daytime that show no fear of humans or if a coyote attacks a person, immediately contact your local police and the Division of Fish and Wildlife at 908-735-8793; outside of normal business hours call the DEP Hotline at 877-WARN-DEP.