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Possible black bear sighting

Police urge caution with black bear sighted near UD campus

University of Delaware Police are urging members of the campus to use caution today, May 19, with a possible black bear sighting in the area behind Christiana Commons on Laird Campus.

Newark Police are tracking the bear, which has been seen in the vicinity of Wilbur Street, Cleveland Avenue, the Pomeroy Trail and Creek Road by Papermill Road. 

Black bears by nature tend to be wary of humans and avoid people. 

UD Police offer the following common sense safety tips for anyone who may encounter 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. 

• Make sure the bear has an escape route. 

• Avoid direct eye contact, which may be perceived by a bear as a challenge. Never run from a bear. Instead, slowly back away. 

• To scare the bear away, make loud noises by yelling, banging pots and pans or using an air horn. 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. 

• 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. 

• 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. 

• 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. 

• If the bear does not leave, move to a secure area. 

• Black bear attacks are extremely rare. If a black bear does attack, fight back. 

If you do spot a bear, please call the Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources Police at 800-523-3336. If you are in danger or see someone who is, call 911.

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