Appears To Play Possum In A Tree Before Eluding Capture

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBS 2) — On Friday night a resident grabbed her video camera and caught an image of a bear chilling out in a tree.

That same bear then outfoxed a bunch of police officers and is currently at large.

“We were just sitting eating dinner and a cop with a gun was in our backyard and I saw a black bear just jet across our backyard. It was the most bizarre thing you’d ever seen,” Kimberly Canella said.

CBS 2’s Lou Young obtained images of the bear they were chasing, literally up a tree.  A big black bear that had been on the run from police since earlier in the evening was just sitting there, resting comfortably.

Joan Monton took the video.

“It was cute because they were waiting and the police were letting us look at him and they were clapping and they said they were trying to keep him up in a tree until the state comes,” Monton said. “But then at 8 o’clock, they said the state is not gonna come because by the time they get here it will be too dark to tranquilize him, which was shocking to me …”

The bear took the opportunity to make its break, which caught the cops on the ground by surprise.

It vanished among the suburban shrubs. Some neighbors think the bear had finally caught its wind and rested enough to resume running.

“It looked a little lazy. It was up in the tree a good hour and a half,” John Canella said.

The video also shows the bear in the tree had been tagged by wildlife officers twice before.  Residents of Ridgewood were notified of the animal in their midst by a reverse 911 call.

“If you see the bear, please do not approach it and call the police,” the message said.