2 reports of black bear sightings in New Castle County

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016
File photo of a black bear.

NEW CASTLE, Del. (WPVI) -- New Castle County police have received two reports of black bear sightings in the area.

The first sighting occurred around 11 p.m. Tuesday in the 100 block of Dewberry Drive in the Ramsey Ridge community.

The caller told police he saw a black bear in his backyard. The bear was rifling through the trash as well as the birdfeeder and birdbath.

The second reported sighting occurred at approximately 6:45 a.m. Wednesday in the unit block of Woodward Dr. in the Wood Creek community.

The caller said he observed a black bear on the side of his home. The bear then ran to the area of Wood Creek Park.

In both cases, New Castle County police responded and checked for the bear, but were unable to locate it.

New Castle County police have issued the following tips, should you encounter a bear:

  1. Remain calm if you encounter a bear. Do not run from it.
  2. Make the bear aware of your presence by speaking in an assertive voice, singing, clapping your hands, or making other noises.
  3. Make sure the bear has an escape route.
  4. Avoid direct eye contact, which may be perceived by a bear as a challenge. Never run from a bear. Instead, slowly back away.
  5. To scare the bear away, make loud noises by yelling, banging pots and pans 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. If the bear does not leave, move to a secure area.
  10. Black bear attacks are extremely rare. If a black bear does attack, fight back!

If you spot a bear, please call the Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources Police at (800) 523-3336. If you are, or observe someone else in, immediate danger, call 911.