New Jersey

Illegal Feeding Focus of Recent Brazen Bear Reports in New Jersey

Officials are investigating whether illegal feeding is leading to a recent rash of brazen bear reports in New Jersey.

The state closed Ramapo Valley Reservation in Mahwah on Wednesday, where a bear reportedly chased a group of eight people over the weekend.

The shutdown comes as nearby Ramapo State Forest remains closed for a second week.

The state Environmental Protection Department has placed traps in the woods and killed four bears since Oct. 5. None of the bears showed signs of fear of humans.

Fish and Wildlife Director David Chanda says there is no shortage of food in the woods as black bears prepare to hibernate.

Chanda says officials are probing whether people are intentionally feeding the bruins, making the bears more likely to pursue humans.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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