Last year was apparently the year for snakes on roofs. This year, it seems bears are taking their turn.
Recent news reports of bears climbing onto roofs made headlines in two different states on the same day. In New Jersey, NJ.com reports that a 300-pound black bear was spotted by residents on Oct. 10. At 3 a.m. the following day, more reports came in of the bear in a very different context.
The black bear was seen on the roof of a one-story business in Harrison, according to police.
“There have been multiple sightings of a black bear in the Harrison/Kearny area,” the Harrison Police Department said on Facebook. “If you see the bear, please use caution and do not approach, contact the Harrison Police Department immediately!”
Police said the bear eventually climbed down the back of the building and ran in the direction of a nearby hotel. No further sightings were reported.
By coincidence, on Oct. 11, the same day as the New Jersey rooftop bear, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) had its hands full with a black bear on the roof of a home in Sanderson, Texas.
In a social media post, the wildlife department said the bear exhibited “typical feeding behavior for this time of year,” and was making a meal of the pecans that had fallen onto the roof of the resident’s home. It’s unclear what the TPWD did to remove the bear, but in a release, stated its typical bear hazing techniques include making loud noises, and in some cases, shooting non-lethal flash rounds, paintball rounds or rubber buckshot rounds at the bears.
The TPWD states black bears are a protected and rare species in Texas. In New Jersey, the New Jersey Fish and Game Council recently proposed an amendment to its Game Code that will suspend bear hunting for the 2020 season and remove the black bear management policy from the code.
Should you ever encounter a black bear, the Humane Society states you shouldn’t run from it, but don’t approach it either. Make yourself appear as big as possible by spreading your arms or coat and make as much noise as possible to scare it off. In the rare instance that a black bear attacks you, fight back.