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Black bear spotted in suburban New Jersey neighborhoods

Posted at 11:36 PM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-13 07:55:09-04

KEARNY, N.J. — An uninvited guest made its way into several New Jersey suburbs, creating quite a stir inside normally quiet areas.

Police believe a 300-pound bear is roaming around communities and was most recently seen in North Arlington.

It was likely the same bear that was spotted in Kearny.

It's not clear how a black bear ended up in the middle of densely populated areas like Kearny — and Harrison, beforehand — but some New Jersey residents needed a second to get their bearings after spotting the furry animal.

"I haven't seen any here, this is the first time. Surprised me. Especially close to my house," said Ruben Martinez.

He barely noticed that it had climbed up a tree in his own backyard around 1 p.m. Monday. That was until he heard some commotion outside.

"When I went outside, that's when I found out. I saw police in my driveway, that's how I found out. Plus, I see a lot of people outside," Martinez said.

Harrison police said the bear was first spotted on Saturday at the local Walmart and by Red Bull Arena. Officers snapped a picture with their bare hands and posted it on social media, warning people to be on alert.

"We did get a call from the town of Kearny that there was a bear was in the neighborhood and police were looking for it,” said Herbert Ginbel, a local resident.

Police asked residents to bear with them as they tried to capture the animal. They've requested an animal control unit and notified the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.

"I just hope everything will work out all right, and as a deacon I pray that the bear will be ok, and it can be returned to the habitat that I belongs,” Ginbel said.

It's estimated the bear weighs 300 pounds. Ironically today marked the beginning of bear hunting season in New Jersey, though the governor said 2020 would mark the end of bear hunting under his administration.