Bear rescued from tree near NJ Turnpike

April 15, 2011 2:48:09 PM PDT
A black bear who was stuck in a tree near the New Jersey Turnpike has been removed.

The 300 lbs. bear was sighted at the Exit 8 interchange in Hightstown, Mercer County on Friday morning.

Officials spent quite some time removing the animal from the tree.

State Police Sgt. Stephen Jones says the bruin was first spotted on the shoulder of the toll road at 8:12 a.m. Friday.

Jones says the state's wildlife agency tranquilized the bear, before removal.

They used a cherry picker to bring the bear down to safety.

"We cut the tree limbs to get to him, and pull him in the bucket," said Dep. Chief Scott Jenkins.

Firefighters were relieved to get him down but, "Once we got him in the bucket, I just prayed he didn't wake up," said one rescue worker.

Acres of trees in the area have been cut down recently to make room for the turnpike widening project, so perhaps we were encroaching a bit on his space. He'll get a new home now as he's being released at a wildlife refuge.

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