‘Bearly’ Outside: New Jersey black bears come face-to-face with resident

MAHWAH, N.J. — Repeat bear sightings close to New Jersey homes have prompted calls to police.

Mahwah Police provided photos of one bear who stood on its hind legs only inches from a resident's face, a glass door the only separation between the homeowner and a 250-pound bear with her cub.

“They were concerned, obviously, with the bear trying to get into their home," said Mahwah Police Lt. Scott Scherven.

Mahwah Police responded to three calls of bear sightings in the Rio Vista section of Mahwah this week. The development backs up to acres of reserved forest land.

Police estimate upwards of 1,000 bears call the reservation home. In the summer months, bears are often spotted foraging down below the mountains, preparing for winter hibernation.

If you see a black bear, here's some advice:

"The smartest thing is to slowly remove yourself from that area," said Lt. Scherven. "Don't panic. Don't scream."​

Residents are encouraged to keep a tight lid on garbage cans and to not leave food outside.

“It is their natural environment," said Lt. Scherven. "But we will monitor area."