726-Pound Bear Trapped in New Jersey

NJ Dept. of Fish & Wildlife / nj.com, Bear Hunting Magazine

State wildlife officials trapped and released a 726-pound male black bear in Passaic County, the heaviest ever handled in New Jersey. This bear was enormous compared with the average 200- to 400-pound weight of most bears handled in the state.

Fish and Game Council member Len Wolgast stated that the bear will only get bigger because it only recently left its winter den.

The bear was trapped along with another one after West Milford residents complained that the animals were getting too close. It was treated for a nose injury, marked with identifying tags and set free.

Officials tried to condition the bears to fear humans before releasing them back in the wild. Officials shot rubber buckshot and firecrackers to scare them.

A couple in the area was given a warning for leaving food out for the bears, a possible precursor to a summons, but officials said the bears were not euthanized because they had not posed an imminent threat to humans, nor had they broken into any homes.

Bears have been sighted in 21 counties in the state of New Jersey. If you live in New Jersey and need to report a nuisance black bear or for assistance contact the Wildlife Control Unit: 908-735-8793.

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