BERGENFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Officials in New Jersey are warning residents to be on alert after bear sightings in the town of Bergenfield.

Bergenfield police confirm there have been several bear sightings in recent days just blocks from a busy business district.

Resident Marguerite Barlovic saw a black bear pouncing near a golf course Sunday night.

“Was kind of nerve-racking because it was small and I knew it was a baby bear. There’s probably a momma bear somewhere,” she said. “Very scary because a lot of people walk this area.”

Wildlife experts say the cub may be alone, left by its mother.

“They do have young at their side, but if that young is 1 or 2 years old, it’s time for them to move on and mom let’s them know in no uncertain manner,” said Carol Tyler with Tyco Animal Control.

Tyler estimates the cub weighs about 60 pounds and did not appear to be rabid or sick.

“This young guy is doing what he’s supposed to do,” she said. “Hiding and running.”

There is a small creek nearby that wildlife officials say the bear was possibly following as its source of water and they believe the cub will likely return to the woods on its own, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.

The recent sighting has residents remembering other bear encounters in the neighborhood.

Resident Mary Shannon said one year a bear stole the whole block’s barbecue right off the grill on Mother’s Day.

“He goes into the golf course and he finds a lovely spot with wildflowers and he decides to sit down and have a teddy bear’s picnic for one,” Shannon said. “He climbed a tree got himself settled beautifully and he proceeded to fall asleep and snore.”

A few years before that Bob Ritzer said, “Bergenfield police somehow lost the bear. They followed him down the street and he just disappeared.”

Tyler is warning homeowners not to leave bird feeders and unsecured trash cans out because it can attract the bears. She also advises to be careful and on the lookout, which residents say they are now doing.

“Just watch our kids, make sure they’re not alone and just make sure everything is sealed up,” said resident Robert Kravitz.

Wildlife experts say if you do see a bear, don’t approach it because it could become aggressive.


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