SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Does a bear leave the woods? 

Apparently so, in recent weeks, there have been bear sightings in Union (three of them reported on Fourth of July weekend), Cranford (roaming through backyards on Orchard St. on June 9), Westfield, Mountainside, and Clark (Victoria Lane near the Deutscher Club on Sunday, July 5).

This weekend, a bear was seen roaming near Grillestone Restaurant on Route 22 in Scotch Plains. 

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The state Division of Fish and Wildlife offers the following tips for the public on bears.
  • Never feed or approach a bear.
  • Remain calm if you encounter a bear.  
  • Make the bear aware of your presence by speaking in an assertive voice, singing, clapping your hands or making other noises.
  • Make sure the bear has an escape route.
  • If a bear enters your home, provide it with an escape route by propping all doors open.
  • Avoid direct eye contact, which may be perceived by a bear as a challenge.
  • To scare the bear away, make loud noises by yelling, banging pots and pans or using an airhorn. Make yourself look as big as possible by waving your arms. If you are with someone else, stand close together with your arms raised above your head.
  • Never run from a bear. Instead, slowly back away.

TAPintoWestfield's Matt Kadosh contributed to this story.