Watch Out For Bears On The Move

Bear Hunting Magazine, Bear Hunting Magazine

As the weather continues to get warmer across the states, it bears reminding (no pun intended) that bears are on the move and are getting into areas they do not usually frequent. Below are a few of the most recent bear encounters.

Englewood, NJ - Bear sightings are fairly common in distant suburbs, but a black bear was seen by many witnesses within three miles of the Manhattan skyline which is highly unusual, and happened this week in Englewood.

"There's a playground, playing fields, lots of children here most times. I'm just glad it didn't turn out worse," said Antonio Restrepo. He is the owner of a towing business next to Denning Park at the south end of Englewood. The two-block-long park was where he and neighbors spotted what they describe as a 200- to 250-pound bear.

Police and firefighters responded, but the bear got away, possibly by lumbering along a creek bed that runs through the park and under nearby Route 4, approximately two miles west of the George Washington Bridge. Authorities, however, later captured the bear the next afternoon.

Forest Lake, MN - A bear was killed when it was hit by a vehicle at night on Highway 97 Forest Lake police confirm. No one was injured in the accident, but there was damage to the vehicle, said Lt. Eric Roeske of the Minnesota State Patrol. The bear was dead when the State Patrol arrived on the scene.

Santa Fe, NM - New Mexico game officers have captured a large male bear after residents of Santa Fe's Hyde Park Estates complained about a bear foraging for garbage.

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish set up a cage earlier this week to trap the bear. They caught the animal and transported him to the Gallina Peak area near Taos for release. The bear weighed an estimated 350 to 400 pounds.

Game officials worry about wild animals that lose their fear of humans because it increases the risks of confrontation. In past years, bears have wandered down arroyos and walked the streets of Raton, climbed trees in Albuquerque and were seen in orchards in the fall looking for fruit.

White Bear Lake, MN - Police had no choice but to kill a 2-year-old bear roaming a White Bear Lake golf course because it posed a threat to the many people nearby at the time, a state Department of Natural Resources spokesman stated this week.

The male black bear was shot by city police near the Manitou Ridge Golf Course's 15th fairway. It is believed to be the same one spotted earlier in the week in Mahtomedi police said.

White Bear Lake police Capt. Randy Johnson said the bear was near Lakewood Hills park and an apartment complex. Also, the fencing on the golf course would have let the bear into the back yards of several homes, he said.

The bear was in a trash bin for a time, then moved into some woods, DNR spokesman Harland Hiemstra said. It was then that police consulted with a DNR conservation officer and decided it was now safe to "dispatch" the animal, Hiemstra said. Officers fired several shots, Johnson added.

As the bear ambled about, "people were gathering around taking pictures," Hiemstra said. "Police couldn't keep the people back. One guy wanted to go over and touch it."

Joplin, MO - A young black bear died in southwest Missouri after being struck by a vehicle as he tried to cross Interstate 44.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Mike Watson says the bear was hit Wednesday near Joplin and crawled to a median. State conservation agent Adam Bracken says the animal was tranquilized and taken to a veterinarian, but had to be euthanized because of its severe injuries.

The Joplin Globe reports that authorities said the bear weighed 130 pounds and was about 5 feet long, and was probably 2 to 3 years old.

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