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Rutgers Gardens Reopens Following Bear Sighting

Patch logo Patch 6/16/2021 Nikki Gaskins
a close up of a brown bear is looking at the camera: Based on data from the NJ Department of Environmental Protectio​n​, there have been 48 bear sightings so far this year. Seventeen counties, including Middlesex, have reported bear activity of some sort. © Shutterstock Based on data from the NJ Department of Environmental Protectio​n​, there have been 48 bear sightings so far this year. Seventeen counties, including Middlesex, have reported bear activity of some sort.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Rutgers Gardens reopened to the public Tuesday following a black bear sighting just seven days earlier, police confirmed.

Someone spotted the bear last week near Ryders Lane and the 180-acre botanic garden, which is at 112 Log Cabin Rd. in North Brunswick. As a safety precaution, authorities closed the garden at the time until further notice and notified the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Black bears are the largest land mammal in the state. Based on data from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, there have been 48 bear sightings so far this year. Seventeen counties, including Middlesex, have reported bear activity of some sort.

Animal experts say that black bears are typically not aggressive animals and tend to be wary of people. While not very common, predatory attacks do happen, as was the case in West Milford, Based on data from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, there have been 48 bear sightings so far this year. Seventeen counties, including Middlesex, have reported bear activity of some sort. in September 2014. In that incident, a fatal black bear attack resulted in the death of a 22-year old man. It is the first documented bear fatality in the state's history.


Video: Bear Sighting in Mountainside, NJ (Patch)

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If you see a bear, the NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife offers these safety tips:

  • Never feed or approach a bear.
  • Remain calm if you encounter a bear. Do not run from it.
  • Make the bear aware of your presence by speaking in an assertive voice, singing, clapping your hands, or making other noises.
  • Avoid direct eye contact, which may be perceived by a bear as a challenge.
  • Never run from a bear. Instead, slowly back away.

The Rutgers University Police Department is using the recent bear sighting to remind people to avoid contact with stray or wild animals. If bitten or scratched by one, police advise seeking medical treatment immediately and reporting any exposures to the Rutgers Police Department at 732-932-7211.

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