Report: Black bear sighted in Medford

Released by the Medford Township Police Department

On Thursday, June 7, at approximately 5:41 p.m. Medford Police were called to the Highbridge Development in the southern area of Medford Township for the report of a black bear in the neighborhood. Upon arrival, police found a black bear wandering in the area of Poleridge Parke, Lowbridge Passage, and Harwood Way. The bear did get into some trash and bird feeders, but caused no other problems. After approximately 45 minutes the bear wandered back into the forest area that abuts Wharton State Forest. At no time did the bear exhibit any aggressive behavior and caused no harm beyond the trash and bird feeders.

Black bears are a native animal to our area and do live in the woods around South Jersey. Although black bear attacks are rare, it is recommended that if you encounter a bear you should make noise to alert the bear to your presence, not make eye contact, and slowly back out of the area. Residents should take precautions to secure their trash, bird feeders, and keep watch over small children and pets. In addition, residents are reminded to never approach or feed bears.

Encounters with bears in and around neighborhoods should be reported to police at (609) 267–8300. More information on Bear Safety can be found at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection website, http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/bearfacts.htm.