Possible bear sighting in Atlantic Co., NJ
NORTHFIELD, N.J. - April 17, 2012 (WPVI) -- Two joggers say they spotted what they believe is a bear in Birch Grove Park on Friday in Northfield, New Jersey.
They describe it as a three to four feet high, furry, reddish black and walking on all fours.
But the question is, was it really a bear?
In Birch Grove Park Tuesday people went about their day, whether on the playground, checking out the ducks or just fishing.
There seemed to be little concern that a bear may be lurking in the woods.
"If a bear came out of the woods right now I'd probably drive away and leave you guys to throw the camera at it," Levi Fox told Action News.
Northfield Police say the bear sighting has not been confirmed. So far there haven't been any follow up sightings and no pictures of it taken.
"To say it was a bear exactly, we can't say that. We've been speaking with biologists, with Fish, Game and Wildlife. They've made suggestions of anything from a fisher cat to a coyote," said Northfield Police Chief Robert James.
Still, the police department notified the local Little League teams that play in the park, and they alerted residents.
Chief James doesn't want people to be alarmed, just aware.
"We also did a reverse 911 call to all the residents around there just to let them know this is the complaint we got. If it is a bear, secure your refuge, don't feed it. Just be cognizant."
The N.J. Department of Environmental Protection says bears have been spotted in all 21 counties of New Jersey.
Jim O'Donnell fishes in the park just about every day. He calls the bear sighting bogus.
"I don't believe it," he said. "I don't think the bear could get here. The whole lake here is surrounded by roads."
Meantime, a spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Protection said the department is not going to do anything. They are not going to track it or look for it, unless it causes any problems or poses a danger.
new jersey, animals, local/state, chad pradelli
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