As bears get ready to hibernate for the winter, they will be consuming more than 20,000 calories per day, according to officials from the Division of Fish and Wildlife. Numerous Patch readers reported seeing a bear in town this week, so here are five ways to keep hungry bears away:
1. Don't put garbage out until the morning of collection. Bears can smell food from three miles away and have a good enough memory to come back and check for more food later.
2. It is important to not feed bears. Residents should feed their pets indoors and take down bird feeders until the winter, when bears are resting.
3. If a bear has already discovered your trash can, try washing the inside of the container with ammonia or soaking some rags with ammonia and putting them in with the garbage. Bears find the smell of ammonia particularly unappealing.
4. In the event of a close encounter with a black bear, Division of Fish and Wildlife officials recommend making a lot of noise with air horns, banging pots and pans or even clapping to scare it away.
5. Anyone who does see a bear should report it to the at (201) 891-2121 and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection at (877) 927-6337. The DEP can not respond to the scene of most bear sightings because of their limited resources, but if a bear does present a threat they may euthanize it.