Fall is a great time to hike the trails and enjoy the foliage show, but be aware that there are bears in the forested areas of Roxbury. To avoid an encounter with a bear:
- Do not feed or approach the bear! Bears are wild animals and their behavior can be unpredictable.
- Remain calm and make the bear aware of your presence by speaking in a loud, assertive voice, singing, clapping your hands or making other noises.
- Keep your distance and make sure the bear has an escape route.
- Avoid direct eye contact, which may be perceived by a bear as a challenge. Never run from a bear. Instead, slowly back away. If you are with someone else, stay together in a group.
- To scare the bear away, make loud noises by yelling, banging pots and pans, knocking rocks together or using an airhorn. 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, swat the ground and make popping sounds by snapping its jaws. 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 usually is 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 and then slowly back away. Do not run.
- If the bear will not leave, slowly back away and head for nearby shelter.
- DO NOT RUN and do not turn away from the bear.
For more information on bears in New Jersey, visit www.state.nj.us.