Late Night Visitor: A Bear on the Prowl in Egg Harbor City
A bear in Egg Harbor City?
An Egg Harbor City couple had a startling realization early Thursday when they checked their Ring video and saw a black bear in their driveway sniffing at their garbage cans.
Lori Schoenrock posted screenshots on Facebook of the bear standing in her driveway after 3 am Thursday, with a "heads up" that a black bear was in her New York Avenue neighborhood.
Later Thursday, Egg Harbor City Police confirmed the bear sighting.
One of our residents on New York Avenue had a visitor this morning. Kudos to the home owners for having covered trash and recycling cans, which can help deter bears from becoming a nuisance.
According to police, the bear, estimated to weigh 600 pounds, was later spotted crossing Duerer Street near Norfolk Avenue in Egg Harbor City heading north toward the cemetery.
Egg Harbor City Police said they were in touch with officials from NJ Fish and Wildlife. They cautioned residents not to approach the bear if they saw it, but to call the police with any sightings so they could document its movements.
Although bear sightings are rare in South Jersey, they do occasionally happen, especially close to wooded areas like Wharton State Forest.
People living in rural parts of northwestern New Jersey have much more experience with bear sightings, primarily within Sussex, Passaic, Warren, and Morris counties. However, as the bear population increases, black bears are expanding their range both east and south.
If you live close to the bear sighting, New Jersey Fish and Wildlife advises having a “Bear Plan” in place for children including the use of whistles, air horns, and an escape route. It is also a good idea to install motion sensor lighting to try to frighten bears away if they enter your yard.
Here are more tips from New Jersey Fish and Wildlife, if you happen to see a bear.
You can use them to try to scare bears out of your yard including air horns and banging pots and pans.
Maintain a safe distance when attempting to scare bears out of your yard. Try shouting, clapping, stomping the ground, and making other loud noises to deter bears.