Breaking: Black Bear Seen Today on Upper Mountain, Yesterday At Mills Reservation

Bear seen in backyard a block north of Mills Reservation. 2:40 p.m.
A reader’s daughter snapped this bear in the backyard, a block north of Mills Reservation. 2:40 p.m. Photo: Lily Seraydarian

UPDATE: A black bear seen near Upper Mountain Avenue has Montclair’s Bradford School keeping kids inside.

Yesterday, Montclair was captivated by a black bear, spotted in a tree near Watchung Park around 6:30 a.m. Making noise by banging sticks and objects, Montclair police kept the bear above ground in a tree for close to three hours until NJ Fish and Wildlife arrived. That bear was taken out of the Montclair area, to be released to a more “bear-friendly location,” but another bear still finds our area attractive. Yesterday afternoon, Baristanet received several reports of another black bear, seen at Mills Reservation.

Photo: Edward Martin
Bear at Mills Reservation. Photo: Edward Martin

Mills Reservation is located in Cedar Grove and Montclair, but is part of the Essex County Park system. An officer with Cedar Grove police said they had notified the Essex County Sheriff’s office about the bear. Montclair police confirmed they had heard reports, but said “so far [the bear] had not entered Montclair.

Yesterday afternoon, Kevin Lynch, public information officer for Essex County Sheriff’s office, said they had not received any reports of a bear, but if they did, the procedure would be for someone from the Sheriff’s office to go to the park and check the situation and if a bear was on the ground, to then call NJ Fish & Wildlife. Lynch also said if anyone sees a bear at Mills Reservation or any of the county parks, they should call 973-621-4111.

If you see a bear, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), Division of Fish and Wildlife, wants you to immediately notify the DEP’s 24-hour, toll-free hotline at 1-877-WARN DEP (1-877-927-6337).

Our reporter got to Mills Reservation yesterday in time to see people hurriedly leaving the park, with their dogs, after they heard that a bear was sighted.

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  1. I’m being completely serious when I ask this. Does the recent proliferation of bears in the area have anything to do with the cicada horde? The cicadas are also quite prevalent in Mills. Whether bears are using them as food – or the noise driving bears crazy and they’re fleeing for quieter places? (OK, that last part I’m just joking.)

  2. That is exactly what I thought when reading about baby bear yesterday. Since they can’t read a newspaper or go online and “know’ that it’s only temporary, they are probably leaving in daylight since that is when the sound is the loudest.

  3. Cicadas are loud, but all the construction in Verona and Cedar Grove is louder and takes away habitat (ie Hilltop). It’s not unusual for bears to forage for food in daylight, especially this time of year.

    That said, the cicada drone is driving me nuts! Oh for a tranquilizer!

  4. The actor was seen on the main path at Mills reservation 14:27 pm. Witnesses describe the actor as “brownish” and appeared to carry a branch or some other type of weapon. Witness also said, Yes…he does poop in the woods.

  5. I am going to drive to Mills Reservation.
    I am going to park my car.
    I am going to put on a loin cloth.
    I am going to enter the woods.
    I am going to find the bear.
    I am going to wrestle the bear.
    I am going to make the bear cry, “UNCLE!”
    I am going to make the bear my friend.
    I am going to make the bear promise it will leave Montclair alone.
    I am going to let the bear go.
    I am going to keep this a secret, as I am not a hero.

  6. Maybe he’s looking for his friend!? Little does he know his friend was tranquilized and relocated. Someone tell him!

  7. The bear was sighted lounging outside Raymond’s snacking on some french toast and bacon. He was then cited for dining nude.

  8. These exciting sightings give me an idea to bring $$$ to Montclair. Who’s got a Sasquatch costume?

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