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Police Urge Caution As Bears Make Themselves At Home In Parsippany

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PARSIPPANY, N.J.(CBSNewYork) — Two weeks ago, a bear went for a swim in a popular lake. On Thursday morning, one took a walk down a north Jersey street.

They may look cute, but as CBS 2’s Matt Kozar reported, Parsippany police have warned residents to stay away from bears that have been roaming through backyards.

One fuzzy visitor walked across Dean Zammit’s driveway on Ball Terrace, before darting into a neighbor’ yard.

“They cut through to get to some of the garbage back here,” Zammit said.

He found a different bear near his porch a few weeks ago.

“They seem to be adolescents, these bears. They seem to be on the smaller side,” he said.

Bear sightings are not unusual for the Parsippany area. Two weeks ago one went for a swim in Lake Parsippany. Police set up a perimeter to keep people away. Eventually, the bear climbed ashore and ran into the woods.

“We had to evacuate the beach area and keep the kids out of the water,” Sgt. Thomas Pomroy said.

Sgt. Pomroy said that several Parsippany police officers are trained by the Department of Fish and Wildlife in how to deal with bears.

“People see them walking through their backyard, they get scared. They’re not used to seeing them in their neighborhood,” he explained.

Police in Parsippany have had more than two dozen calls this year, about roaming bears which have become the norm in recent years.

“I’m not really scared. I think they’re more scared of me than I am of them,” Zammit said.

Officials with the Department of Fish and Wildlife said that they are seeing the greatest increase in bear sightings in South Jersey.

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