Bear spotted in Ridgewood, NJ

August 6, 2010 8:25:25 PM PDT
It was a bit more excitement than they had hoped for in one Ridgewood, New Jersey neighborhood when a black bear, 300-400 pounds, climbed up a tree.

"He wasn't up very far, because he kept wanting to come back down every few minutes and the cops would have to scare him back up," Jason Canella, an area resident said.

A black bear was chased up a tree, as it tried to elude police who wanted to keep him there until a tranquilizer gun could arrive on the scene.

But the bear wanted no part of staying around.

"It didn't seem to come off aggressive. You know, it was certainly frightening," Canella said.

John Canella's family watched the whole even unfold in their backyard.

It's not yet known if this was the same bear spotted in Ridgewood last week, moving on the west side of town and crossing into Ho-Ho-Kus to avoid capture.

"It was a dangerous situation. It was about a 3 to 400 pound bear," Canella said.

Just last Sunday, a black bear took off on the run from police in Englewood.

It even moved past an officer with her gun drawn.

The yearling then bolted across a suburban street and back into the cover of the underbrush.

"He came up to me, about three feet. The only thing that separated us was a small fence," said resident Joe Kurz.

Joe Kurz had been close enough to capture some pictures as the bear, which was obviously hungry, poked through a garbage can and stole a bag of trash.

State wildlife experts believe the young bears are now out on their own.

"He's out of place. Typically yearlings are trying to find their own territory and get push out of other territory," said Amy Schweitzer, a wildlife technician.

The bear had been spotted earlier that day in neighboring Bergenfield and was moving along the underbrush next to a small stream.

Back in Ridgewood, neighbors are stunned.

"It is the most bizarre thing you have ever seen. This does not happen in our town very often," Kimberly Canella said.