Bear Gets Uncomfortably Close To NJ Hikers
Is there something in the water lately that's making the bears of NJ more social? Sure seems that way.
South Jersey has been on "Bear Alert" for about two weeks now ever since that first sighting of the black bear in Manahawkin. Since then, bears have been spotted in Winslow Township, Sicklerville, Deptford, West Deptford, Washington Township, and, most recently, near the Hamilton Mall in Mays Landing. There's no telling whether or not it's the same bear at this point since nobody has apprehended the animal to, at the very least, put a tracker on it.
Apparently, it's not just the South Jersey bear (or bears, plural) that has been getting a lot of social interaction with humans lately. NJ.com shared a video to Twitter showing a bear emerging from the woods surrounding the Stairway to Heaven Trail in Vernon Township. The bear wasn't bothered at all by the hikers, but the hikers were obviously scared for their lives. The person recording the video can be heard coaching the other friend slowly away from the bear, but the bear isn't far behind them at first. Check it out:
The closest the bear(s) of South Jersey came to human contact was when he was in the trees near the Oak Valley neighborhood of Deptford Townhip and then again when he was walking through some front lawns in Washington Township development. However, the Hamilton Township sighting was in a condo complex, so clearly for this bear - no woods, not problem.
South Jersey residents are patiently (or anxiously) waiting for the news of the next bear sighting. Bears can travel up to 25 miles per day, so there's no guarantee the next sighting will occur anywhere close to here. Only time will tell.