Fish & Wildlife: New Jersey sees increase in bear encounters in 2022
New Jersey Fish and Wildlife reports that incidents involving bears have been increasing across the state in the last year.
The majority of sightings are happening in Sussex County. State officials say there have been 169 incidents just in the first five months of 2022. Officials say that there were only 86 incidents during the same time period last year.
According to data, the state as a whole has at least 473 reports of nuisance bears this year.
But despite the uptick in reports, Gov. Phil Murphy has not mentioned any considerations of bringing back a bear hunt, mainly because there have been no reports of injury or damage.
So what should one do if they encounter a bear? Wildlife experts say people should remain still and stand their ground, slowly waving their arms. This helps the bear recognize one as a human.
The bear may come closer or stand on its hind legs to get a better look or smell. A standing bear is usually a curious bear and not threatening.
Experts also warn to never get between a mother bear and her cubs.