Black Bear Tranquilized In Montclair (Second Update)


Update: 10:00 a. m. The young bear is tranquilized and safely on the ground. Animal Control workers weighed, measured, tagged, and collected blood and tissue samples from the 18-month old, 158-pounder for further research.

“He’s old enough to be booted out by mom, and he was looking for his own place. He’s large for his size and very healthy,” says Kelcey Burgess with the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife. Burgess says police confirmed it’s the same bear that was spotted yesterday near the Montclair Art Museum. “We’re taking him to a more bear-friendly location…further west to the closest state owned property.”

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Update: 9:50 a.m. Bear is tranquilized, falls into net, assistance from Animal Control, Montclair Fire Department and Montclair PD. Bear will be removed by NJ Fish & Game.

Photo credits: Dana Hawkins-Simons


black bear
Photo credit: Charles Rosen


Photo: Tracy Herrick
Photo: Tracy Herrick


There is black bear in a tree at Watchung Ave. in Montclair.

Reported on Clever Commute:

[NJTT-MBNTN] Police activity at Watchung ave. black bear in a tree. (06:53 AM)

The bear is up in a tree in Watchung Park, opposite train, near The Pie Store.

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  1. If memory serves me correct, all you need to get this bear out of the tree: 1 plastic bin, a metal rake, a hundred feet of hot-pink landscapers twine, two bungee cords, and a bottle of bubble blowing liquid.

  2. If you had ever told me that Clever Commute would be used for this…I’d have never believed you. But…I saw the bear with my own eyes….and one of the other commuters posted about it.

  3. Just tried to bring my kids to school. Aren’t allowing traffic onto Midland. Police tape strung everywhere. Quite the spectacle.

  4. It is just a cub about 350 lbs they are not going to kill it. My kids got such a kick of of seeing “?” (we are still working on naming the bear around here.)

    So far “Montbear” is winning.

  5. We think this is probably the same bear we saw Sunday evening in Cedar Grove. Hope they catch it soon & bring it somewhere safe.

  6. Crazy to see that it takes several hours to get somebody with a tranquilizer gun to respond to a large wild animal in a crowded downtown area. Montclair doesn’t have an animal control officer equipped to handle this situation? Nobody from the Sheriff’s Office? An emergency responder out of Turtle Back Zoo? Division of Fish and Wildlife?

  7. When you get down to the bear facts, the people who got Oz the cat out of the tree should be called in for a consult. They came up with a pretty ingenuous solution when no one was able to help them.

  8. The police were hitting the tree with a stick to scare the poor thing into staying in a tree until the animal folks showed up. Poor thing is probably hungry and tired and just wants his mom and some food. Maybe we can name him Buzz (seems to be the thing to do these days).

  9. My favorite part of the bear fuss was Penny MacCormack’s email this morning re: the “Bear Citing.” Although to her credit, she did apologize for the error in her second email: “Bear Caught.”

  10. Two (insert ethnicity) are walking along Watchung Ave, looking for wildlife. They see road sign, ‘bear left’. So, they did.

  11. As I stood with my children watching the bear my husband was furious. He was shouting, “You know those videos we all watch where the wild animal attacks the dumb people watching it? Well–WE ARE THOSE DUMB PEOPLE!”

    He also noticed that is was just Liz, Annette and myself bear-gazing. You won’t catch GG that close to a bear–no siree Bob.

  12. Nice touch when the Superintendent of Montclair Schools sent an email to thousands of parents reporting a “Bear Citing” in Watchung Park. Nice. Not sure what the bear was cited for (disturbing the peace?), but it is good to know our kids are in such learned hands.

  13. Given that bear was earlier spotted on south end of town, good chance it passed not that far from Stephen Colbert’s house on way to Watchung. Coincidence? I think not.

  14. Awww! Who’s a fuzzy wuzzums!!
    Hope Boo-boo will be safe and happy in his new home far away somewhere in the woods!

  15. Vanb, judging by the amount of preparation once the people from Fish and Wildlife arrived, I don’t think I would trust my average sheriff to “handle” it! Montclair’s finest did a great job with sticks and shovels, though…

  16. I just got a tweet from some South Mountain Bears:

    “Poor Ickie, gotta clse 2 d sun n fell 2 erth”

  17. Did the parking authority cite him for parking in a tree? I wonder how much the fine is for that offense.

  18. Aww, that bear is cute. Perhaps he thought Boo-Boo was in the pie store snatching up a pic-a-nic basket.

  19. I got to see the bear in the morning when I took a walk in my neighborhood. The night before my teenage daughter and a friend were over and we were sitting around laughing over a buzzfeed post of text messages parents shouldn’t send. As I began walking up Midland yesterday, a neighbor stopped me and told me to be careful- there was a bear in the neighborhood. So, I took out my phone and sent a text to my daughter “Heard there is a bear in the area. For real. Keep an eye on Nina” (our dog). Couldn’t help wondering if she was going to think it was a joke!

  20. I know there’s no other humane choice but to tranquilize and relocate bears… but I can’t help but wonder if they get all disoriented when they wake up? Do they get sad/depressed? And don’t tell me animals don’t have feelings! 🙁

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