HomeMt Laurel NewsMt. Laurel bear on the move, last reported in woods near Elbo...

Mt. Laurel bear on the move, last reported in woods near Elbo Lane and Hainesport Road

A bear has captivated the Mt. Laurel community for the past 24 hours after first wandering into town on Monday morning.

The Mt. Laurel bear was last reported to be in a wooded area near Elbo Lane and Hainesport Road. The update was issued by Mt. Laurel Police at 12:45 p.m.

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The bear was first spotted on the morning of June 16 shortly after 9 a.m. Mt. Laurel Police issued an alert stating the bear was located near the intersection of Mt. Laurel Road and Hainesport Road. Just after sundown, the bear was spotted at the intersection of Briggs Road and Union Mill Road. He was spotted again early Tuesday morning near the Mt. Laurel animal hospital and continued to travel south into the Birchfield development.

So far, there have been no reports of injuries or damage to property. Mt. Laurel Police said no action will be taken unless the bear becomes a threat to persons or property.

Mt. Laurel residents are reminded to heed these bear safety tips from the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Black bears tend to be wary of humans and avoid people. However, if you encounter a bear, follow theses tips:

• If a bear enters your home, provide it with an escape route by propping all doors open.
• Avoid direct eye contact and never run from a bear. Instead, slowly back away.
• To scare the bear away, make loud noises by yelling, banging pots and pans or using an air horn. 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 jaw sounds by snapping its jaws and swat the ground. These are warning signs that you are too close. Slowly back away, avoid direct eye contact and do not run.
• 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 is usually not a threatening behavior.
• Black bears will sometimes “bluff charge” when cornered, threatened or attempting to steal food. Stand your ground, avoid direct eye contact, then slowly back away and do not run.
• If the bear does not leave, move to a secure area.
• Immediately notify the Department of Environmental Protection’s 24-hour, toll-free hotline at 1–877-WARN DEP (1–877–927–6337).
• Families who live in areas with high black bear populations should have a “Bear Plan” in place for children, with whistles, air horns and an escape route.
• Black bear attacks are extremely rare. If a black bear does attack, fight back!


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