NBC10.com - Monique Braxton
The black bear that crossed state lines, popping up in at least a half dozen different neighborhoods over the past couple of weeks has been caught, and calmed. NBC10's Monique Braxton has the story.
Days of wandering around in the suburbs appear over for a black bear.
For a second time in less than a year the large black bear fell from a tree after being tranquilized.
The large black bear recently spotted in yards in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey was returned to the wild today following a tense standoff in a tree.
New Jersey Fish & Wildlife Division officers were called out to Tenby Chase Drive near Route 130 in Delran, Burlington County, N.J. around 7:30 Thursday morning for the report of a black bear in a tree.
The 3-year-old male bear was about 25 feet up a tree, according to Delran Township Police.
The tree the animal climbed up is near a bank and a day care. Everyone was asked to stay inside as about two dozen officers worked to contain the animal, according to police.
The wildlife officers set up a net and shot a tranquilize dart into the animal so they could move it to a more rural area safely, police said.
After nearly two hours of hanging on, the bear dropped out of the tree face forward into a net.
Officers rushed into the wooded area where the animal fell. The tranquilized bruin was dragged out of the woods and appeared to be sleeping as police weighed the mammoth animal.
The bear weighed around 300 pounds, Environmental Protection Department spokesman Larry Hajna.
The mammal was released into the 37,000-acre Brendan T. Byrne State Forest. The forest spans parts of Burlington and Ocean Counties off Route 70 in the Pine Barrens section of the state.
The same bear was found roaming around Vineland, N.J. last year, according to wildlife officials. In that rescue the bear, which weighed 60 pounds less at that time, hit a roof while falling out of a tree.
This is believed to be the same bear recently spotted in Maple Shade, Moorestown, Westhampton, Florence and other developed South Jersey communities. It’s possible, however, that there is more than one bear in the area.
However, the Pennsylvania Game Commission officials say they do believe its the same bear recently spotted across the Delaware River. Several bear sightings were reported a few weeks ago in Lower Bucks County, Pa. There were reports of a sightings in Hulmeville, Croydon, Middletown and Bensalem.
Officials didn't say how the bear possibly got across the river.
While the bear has not appeared to be aggressive, local residents aren't taking any chances.
"I think it's a smart move to keep your animals and children indoors," said Tara Pal of Maple Shade. "Just make sure the children don't go anywhere near the bear."
While we waited for the bear to be rescued, the joke Twitter account Black Bear Spotted quipped that it was "working on my list of demands."
Black bears are common in the Garden State and an "integral part of the state's natural heritage and a vital component of healthy ecosystems," according to the Division of Fish & Wildlife. Bears have been spotted in every New Jersey county but the animals are more common in less populated areas in the northern part of the state.