Bear kills dog in Wayne, NJ

March 4, 2010 3:09:46 PM PST
Crews have caught a black bear in New Jersey that killed a woman's dog. People living in the neighborhood had been told to keep their pets indoors while the bear was on the loose.

With shotguns out, Wayne police cornered the 400-pound bear under a deck on fox hill road.

Fish and wildlife officers had their tranquilizer guns too, and then suddenly one shot. They took cover in case the bear became angry, but this bear just yawned.

Ten minutes later, the bear was asleep and being taken away calm and under control, but the damage was already done.

Marian Szal watched in horror just the night before as the bear killed her 16 year old dog named, believe it or not, Bear.

She was looking out the window because she hadn't heard from Bear when she saw a real bear just feet away.

"At that point, I think, that's when he had bear in his mouth," she said.

Before she could get outside with her husband, the bear was gone. So was her Bear. Police found him at the top of her yard.

"It was quick. I hope to god he didn't suffer much," Szal said.

The bear is known in these parts, seen in town three times over the past year.

"He hasn't been aggressive. He just does his thing and goes through the garbage," John Rondi said.

Rondi lives two houses over from where the bear was finally found.

Surveillance video from Tuesday night in front of his home shows the bear in action.

"He's dragging the garbage up the driveway. He goes up the hill to a tree," Rondi explained.

That's been his routine until he found bear the dog. It's an encounter Marian will never be able to shake.

"We are heartbroken. This is very difficult. It's just very sad," she said.

So here is how this story ends. The bear will be put down. The state considers it a category one because the bear killed a domestic pet. Some people in this area say that just isn't fair. The state says it has no choice.