MAHWAH, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Ramapo Mountain State Forest and the Ramapo Valley Reservation have been reopened after reports of black bears acting aggressively towards visitors.
The forest was closed to hikers after eight people were chased by a black bear two weeks ago.READ MORE: US Officials: Only A Matter Of Time Before Omicron COVID Variant Found In America
Three other hikers reported being pursued by black bears, but escaped unharmed. One hiker said a bear repeatedly approached and swatted at him, forcing him to use pepper spray to defend himself.
State wildlife officials say four black bears have been captured and killed. They also believe they captured and killed the bear that attempted to chase the hikers.READ MORE: 2 Islanders Games Postponed Amid COVID-19 Outbreak
Officials are investigating whether human interaction, such as intentionally feeding the bears, played a role in the unusual aggression.
New Jersey Director of Fish and Wildlife David Chanda told WCBS 880 last week that feeding the bears is not only dangerous, but illegal. Violators will be hit with fines up to $1000.MORE NEWS: CBS2 Weather Headlines: Passing Rain, Snowflakes Possible Sunday Afternoon; Same Story Overnight
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