Residents On High-Alert After Black Bears Forage In Mahwah Neighborhood

MAHWAH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police were on high-alert in a New Jersey neighborhood after three separate close encounters with bears on Monday.

As CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported, there were 250-lbs of bear and nothing but a few centimeters of glass separating her from the people inside of a Mahwah home on Monday morning. Others in the neighborhood saw her and called the police.

“I located a sow, which is a female bear with her cub, on the front lawn of a residence. I approached them in my car and they ran off,” Officer Devon Gannon explained.

Just a few hours later at another location, Officer Gannon was dispatched to another call.

“Got another phone call from a resident who met face to face with the bear while they were in their residence,” he said.

A third homeowner also reported a bear and her cub in the backyard. the two could be seen looking for food. At one point the mother bear actually got up on her hind legs, and presses her face right up against the window before running off into the woods with her cub.

It’s something Rio Vista residents see all too often in the summer — a result of living right near the Ramapo Mountains — that doesn’t make it any less concerning.

“You worry for the kids especially if you walk outside,” Eddie Aydin said.

Aydin said he saw the bears coming, they looked for food in his backyard before heading off.

“You get scared maybe if you have the doors open they might come in, so that could be a scary sight,” he said.

Officer Gannon said it’s rare that a black bear will attack a human, but people should still be cautious.

“Make a lot of noise, make yourself bigger, but don’t approach them. They could see that as threatening,” he said.

And avoid eye-contact, it might seem obvious, but Officer Gannon said that kid of information could save your life.

Mahwah Police said bear sighting calls get ramped up in July and August as bears forage for hibernation in the winter.

 

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