Family of bears spotted in Butler, New Jersey

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Joe Torres has the story on the mother bear and her five cubs. (WABC)

A family of bears has been roaming around a neighborhood in Butler, New Jersey and one family captured them on video.

The family that sent the video in to Eyewitness News says they have watched the bears grow over the past few months.


Christine and Stan Plewa captured the video of mama bear and her five cubs just outside the couple's Outlook Street home Tuesday evening.

"If I was outside, like, my husband's been outside and he pulled into the driveway and they were in the neighbor's yard. If that was me, I'd probably freak out and stay in my car," said Christine Plewa, a Butler resident.

Bears in Butler are not uncommon says Stan, who grew up in nearby Kinnelon. In fact, he and his wife saw these bears a few months ago when the cubs were much smaller. Adorable? Yes. Getting a closer look? No.

"You definitely want to go out there and squeeze them and roll around with them but we're smart enough to know not to get in between the Mama and her cub," said Stan Plewa, a Butler resident.

Christine is from Bergen County. She's come a long way since her first bear sighting.

"I lifted the shade and I saw the bear nosing through the garbage and I freaked out. And I ran and locked the kitchen door. I ran and locked the front door, cause you know, the bears are just going to come in the front door," Christine Plewa said.

The Plewas say the bears are tagged and have never posed a threat to them or their neighbors, largely because people in this part of Morris County know about the do's and don'ts of dealing with bears.

"We've learned not to put anything or leave anything that will attract the bears, so with just the two of us living here, we know, take the garbage out the day of," Stan Plewa said.

But they are surprised the bears' search for food, in garbage cans and dumpsters, brings them so close to busy Route 23, which is only 200-yards away from the house.

With that many mouths to feed, maybe it's no surprise at all.

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