PLAINFIELD, NJ - Plainfield Police shot and killed a large black bear that ran into the yard of a home that was hosting a garage sale on South Ave. near Leland, about one mile from the Scotch Plains border.

The sighting comes on the heels of multiple bear sightings in Watchung. Authorities have not confirmed if the bear sighted in Watchung was the same one killed in Plainfield on Sunday morning.

After an extremely harsh winter, there were a number of bear sightings in early April in Warren, Bound Brook and Bridgewater. Although not the first time sighted in Union County, it is believed that this is the first time a bear has been seen in Plainfield in a very long time.

Sign Up for E-News

“It is highly unusual for bears to be in Plainfield," said Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp.

New Jersey's bear population has been a growing debate as man-versus-bear confrontations have escalated over the past few years. Last year, an Edison resident was killed in a bear attack while hiking in West Milford. Bears are not typically known for attacking humans, but they are wild animals and authorities warn against feeding bears and advise residents to use caution if a bear is in the area.

Check out News 12 NJ's video coverage of the story: