- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 4, 2015

WOODLAND PARK, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey wildlife experts say an increase in interaction between bears and humans has muted some of their instincts to flee when they see people.

Rutgers University wildlife ecologist Brooke Maslo tells The Record newspaper (https://bit.ly/1KWPa1o ) that when bears have benign interactions with people, they may stick around when they see a person rather than immediately run away.

The change was evident recently at Ramapo Mountain State Forest, where there were multiple reports of bears approaching and even chasing hikers. That led the state Division of Fish and Wildlife to close both the forest and reservation for weeks. They killed five bears they said were acting aggressively.

Officials are investigating why the bears were so bold and say they think people have been feeding bears, which is against the law.

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Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.), https://www.northjersey.com

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