JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Police in Johnston are warning residents to be on the lookout after a bear was recently spotted in the area of Hopkins Avenue.
“We’ve had turkeys, cows, donkeys…and now bears are back,” police wrote on Facebook.
According to the Department of Environmental Management, bears can travel long distances in search of available food sources and may end up in your backyard.
Police remind residents it’s unhealthy for wild animals to become dependent on humans for survival,a nd provided some tips to keep the bears where they belong:
- Remove bird feeders from your yard
- Keep garbage secured or stored inside a shed or garage until trash-pickup morning
- Keep fruit and meat out of compost piles
- Clean grills immediately after use to minimize attractive odor
- Don’t leave pet food outside overnight
- Never feed bears
Anyone who encounters a bear is reminded to remain calm and not run. Police wrote that black bears usually will retreat once it spots a human, but if it doesn’t, or bluff charges at you, back away slowly.
Police add you can also scare a bear away by yelling, hitting pots and pans, breaking sticks, or waving your arms. Never approach a bear and do not come between a bear and its cubs.