DNREC Closes Alapocas Run State Park Wooded Areas Due To Black Bear

DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation has closed the wooded areas and trails at Alapocas Run State Park in Wilmington until further notice due to the sighting of a black bear in the park.

 The public is encouraged to report sightings of the bear by calling the Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police 24-hour dispatch line at 800-523-3336 to help track its movements and to help locate the bear to enable a proper response.

 For residents in the area where the bear has been sighted, the Division of Fish & Wildlife advises taking the following precautions:

  • If you see the bear:

o   Do not approach, attempt to touch, feed, or shoot at the bear. Back away slowly – give it space. Go inside and wait for the bear to leave. Once inside, please contact Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police at 800-523-3336 to report the sighting.

o   Keep in mind, most bears fear people and will retreat when they see you.

  • Eliminate potential food sources that could attract the bear by cleaning or removing anything outdoors that may smell like food. This includes:

o   Locking garbage in a secure trash container, or keeping it inside until the day of pick-up.

o   Rinsing trash containers with ammonia to eliminate food odors.

o   Temporarily discontinuing the use of backyard compost piles.

o   Storing cooking grills inside or keeping them clean of food residue.

o   Temporarily removing birdfeeders ─ there are many wild food sources for birds during this time of year.

  • If you have animals, particularly dogs or cats:
    • Keep their food indoors. If animals are fed outdoors, only feed the animal what it will eat in one sitting to ensure that there is no food remaining.

o   Corral livestock close to buildings and use outdoor lighting at night.

o   If you have electric fencing, make sure it’s turned on to protect chicken coops, livestock nursery pens, etc.

o   Promptly dispose of dead farm animals.

 Black bear populations within neighboring states of Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have expanded over the past several decades. As a result, it is not unusual for a bear find its way into Delaware. Attempts will be made to live-capture the bear if located and transport it to more suitable habitat out of state within the bear’s normal range.

Source: DNREC