UNION, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It took a day and a night of waiting and watching, but a bear scare in the Garden State finally came to an end Tuesday morning, thanks to a couple of well-aimed tranquilizer darts.
The bear spent the night in a tree at Town Hall in Union, with an officer guarding him.
“This is the same bear we spotted yesterday on West Chestnut Street,” the officer said.
However, the bear decided to climb down Tuesday morning. That’s when state Fish and Wildlife officials darted him, reported CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.
It didn’t stop the bear, though. It tumbled on to a net and kept on going. CBS 2 cameras chased the animal as it crossed a street and then roamed around the backyards of several homes.
“I was able to get in front of him and then kind of corner him from across the street into the actual neighborhood and I got another dart into him,” Fish and Wildlife’s Joe Burke said.
“It’s exciting, a good thing to watch through binoculars,” one resident added.
The bear was tranquilized. It weighs about 185 pounds and will be released into the wild, officials said.
“Right now the yearling animals are being booted out. The females are kicking them out of the nest, basically. They’re on their own they’re looking for their own home range, their own territory,” said Kelsey Burguss of Fish and Wildlife’s Black Bear Project.
While the incident was unusual, police said they had to shoot a bear dead in Union nine months ago. In the northwestern part of the state it’s common to see bears, like the one that recently smashed through the glass window of Ogdensburg Elementary School.
So, residents in Union wanted to check out the bear before he woke up.
“Only in New Jersey you see bear walking around the street,” resident Iroka Ifegwu said.
The bear more than likely followed a waterway from up north, officials said. He was tattooed and has tag in his ear, so they’ll know if he comes back.
The bear will be released into its natural habitat on state-owned land, officials said.
Residents who may encounter a “problem bear” are asked to call 1-800-WARN-DEP.