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PD Warns of Black Bears in Franklin Lakes

Sightings have increased over the past few years, cops say.

The following was released by the Franklin Lakes Police Department.

Franklin Lakes, like many other communities within New Jersey, has, in recent years, experienced an increase in its black bear population and, as a result, an increase in the number of appearances that this indigenous animal makes in residential neighborhoods.

The Police Department, as well as the Mayor and Council, are fully aware of the frequency of black bear sightings and, with the guidance of the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, are actively implementing certain methods to deal with the issue.  

Borough residents are encouraged to contact the Franklin Lakes Police Department, at 201-891-3131, whenever a bear is observed on a roadway or in a residential area. The Police Department’s protocol is to dispatch officers to each report of a bear sighting, assess the situation, and then take the level of action that is most appropriate to the existing circumstances. Generally, the animals are monitored, with the responding officers alerting any individuals, who are outdoors and within the vicinity, until the animal has moved along.

It should be noted that most black bears would continue on their way if left unbothered. In the highly unusual event that a bear shows aggressive tendencies and poses an immediate danger to persons or domesticated animals, then police officers are authorized to dispose of it. The use of air horns and less-than-lethal ammunition are methods that are employed by the Police Department when responding to black bear calls, depending upon the circumstances.  

In addition to contacting the Franklin Lakes Police Department when a bear is sighted, residents are encouraged to also notify the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife at the “hotline” number 1-877-927-6337, as it is important for state officials to become fully aware of the frequency of black bear activity within the borough.  

Additionally, homeowners living within black bear populated areas should always take certain precautions, in order to lessen the degree of black bear activity occurring within their neighborhoods; such as: securing trash containers and placing them curbside as close to pick-up time as possible (if feasible, on the morning that garbage or recycling is scheduled for collection – but not later than 6:00 AM), washing or spraying trash containers with a disinfectant in order to eliminate food odors, removing bird feeders, and, if household pets are fed outdoors, removing the bowls and food soon after feeding.  

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