CARTERET, NJ (PIX11) — Residents in one New Jersey neighborhood got a rude awakening Wednesday morning when a 250-pound black bear came knocking on their door.
It all unfolded in Carteret. The female black bear was first captured on a Ring surveillance camera, moseying along Roosevelt Avenue just before 6 a.m. Neighbors say it’s an incredibly rare sight for the small quiet town.
“I have never seen anything like this, like ever, and I lived here forever,” one neighbor told PIX11.
When residents caught wind of the unexpected visitor, police were called and the cellphone cameras came out – documenting the bear’s every move.
AIR11 was over the scene of the Roosevelt Village apartment complex where the animal climbed up a tree. Two attempts to take the bear out with tranquilizers were not successful.
The animal, which appeared to be frightened, later took off to another tree and sent residents scrambling. State wildlife officers shot a third tranquilizer, which finally subdued the bear. She staggered and finally collapsed without incident.
The animal was later relocated to a suitable habitat, a NJDEP spokesperson told PIX11. Bear sightings in New Jersey have been on the rise this year, up 127 percent from last year, according to the state’s DEP website.
State officials say addressing this problem is a work in progress. Gov. Phil Murphy, whose administration outlawed the state’s bear hunt in 2021, says they are working at non-lethal options on how to control the state’s bear population. So far, no statewide plan has been presented.
Wednesday’s sighting is now just the latest in what’s shaping up to be a historic year for black bears in the Garden State.