BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - A bear was sighted in Berkeley Heights this afternoon near Hughes School, but police shooed it out of the area before school let out. An officer was stationed at the school until all the students had gone home and the school was closed for the day.

Lt. Frank Fortunato said police received a call from the school shortly before 2 p.m. saying a bear had been seen in the woods between the school and Pine Grove Road, although it was not on school property.

Officers responded to the scene and walked the bear toward Mountain Avenue. It was last seen in the area of Cambridge Drive.

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Police Chief Michael Mathis said that while bears are generally not a threat, anyone who sees a bear is encouraged to call the police department at 908-464-1111, or the Department of Environmental Protection's 24-hour hotline at 877-927-6337.

For more information, visit http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/bearfacts_municipalities.htm.