Hikers warned of possible bear encounters

  • Photo by Ann Genader A new sign at Highlands Preserve in Hewitt reminds hikers that bears live in the local woods.

With the increased focus on local recreational hiking state and county authorities have put up a sign at Highlands Preserve (previously known as San Cap) reminding people that bears are active in the area and should not be approached if encountered.

The sign reads:If you encounter a bear:

Remain calm – do not run.

Make the bear aware of your presence by making noise.

Leave an escape route for the bear.

If the bear does not leave, slowly back away.

If the bear approaches, stand your ground and be assertive. Make yourself look big by waving your arms.

Stay together as a group. Toss a rock or sticks.

If a black bear attacks do not play dead.

Report an aggressive bear to the police and the DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife at 1- (877) WARN.DEP.

Never feed a bear. It is dangerous and illegal. Fed bears can become habituated and may need to be killed to protect public safety.

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