Police & Fire

Black Bears Seen Roaming Westfield and Mountainside

Bears like this one were see roaming Westfield Wednesday morning. Credits: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/bearfacts.htm

WESTFIELD, NJ - UPDATED: On Thursday afternoon, Westfield Police Chief David Wayman said that a black bear that had been roaming Westfield that day had moved back across the border into Mountainside. This bear, the only one seen by Westfield police, was about four feet long, the size of an adult bear.

According to a story on NJ.com, a cub that had been seen in Mountainside made its way back to the reservation, but the adult remained in the area.

Meanwhile, someone has created a satirical Twitter account, @westfieldbear.

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ORIGINAL STORY: A pair of black bears—most likely a mother and cub—have been spotted wandering in Westfield and Mountainside, according to Lt. Allan Attanasio of the Mountainside Police Department.

“Residents saw them wandering through the town and called the police department,” said Attanasio.

Mountainside police began receiving calls Wednesday night from residents who sighted the bears in the area of New Providence Road and Summit Lane. Thursday morning, they were seen the wooded area behind the Mountainside pool, roaming through backyards in Tanglewood and Little Court, the area of Woodland Avenue behind  the Echo Lake Golf Course and off of Broad Street in Westfield.

New Jersey Fish and Wildlife has been notified.

Usually when bears wander out of Watchung Reservation, police try to coax them back into the woods by beeping their car horns, Attanasio said. But with the bears now so far into a residential area, he said it is likely that Fish and Wildlife will tranquilize the pair to bring them back to the wilderness.

According to New Jersey Fish and Wildlife, if you encounter a bear you should make it aware of your presence by speaking in an assertive voice, singing, clapping your hands or making other noises. Avoid direct eye contact, which may be perceived by a bear as a challenge. Never run from a bear. Instead, slowly back away. For more safety tips, click here.

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