Bear tranquilized under Garwood deck, not far from school, library

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, June 12, 2017
Bear tranquilized under Garwood deck, not far from from school, library
Michelle Charlesworth has the latest on a bear sighting in New Jersey.

GARWOOD, New Jersey (WABC) -- Authorities tranquilized a that bear was spotted Monday morning in a residential neighborhood in Garwood, New Jersey.

The bear, about a year old and a 118 pounds, was seen at 3rd Avenue and Walnut Street, prompting police to ask people to avoid the location. Lincoln Franklin Elementary School and the Garwood Public Library are at that intersection, and the Garwood train station is two blocks away.

This is believed to be the same bear that was spotted in other Union County towns Monday morning, including Cranford and Westfield. It was also seen over the weekend in Summit.

The bear was tranquilized while underneath a deck in a backyard, apparently a secluded location he sought for shade.

"It was quiet and cool, and I guess there was a lot of commotion," said Jill Law, who lives in the home. "It's cool under the deck, and I mean, my kids were making noise trying to get him out. I put the dryer on, trying to get him out. Nothing would get him out."

Wildlife officials wet him down to cool him off, and he was then tagged and a tooth extracted to determine his age.

"He was so far under," son Joshua Law said. "And they hit him, and he ran across the yard. Eventually, he fell asleep like that. And then they came in, they tattooed him, they took a tooth out."

The bear will be moved to a wooded area and released, but his presence in town was quite a sight for those who witnessed it. Some even traveled from neighboring towns.

"I'm here 25 years, this is the first time I've ever seen a bear," one area resident said. "We've seen deer, we've seen everything. But never a bear."

Jill Law said the Fish and Wildlife officers could not have been more gentle or compassionate.

"They were so wonderful," she said. "So wonderful."