Rockaway residents: Bear sightings very common
A viral video first seen on News 12 New Jersey shows what happens when humans and bears live in close proximity with one another.
The Basso Family in Rockaway Township uploaded a video of a mother bear and five clubs playing in the family's backyard. The bears take a swim in the family's pool and play with the children's backyard toys. The family of bears stayed for nearly an hour before moving on.
While the video may seem surreal, residents in Rockaway Township say that encountering bears is a way of life in the community, and this particular family of bears has been seen around the neighborhood quite often.
"It's natural. We see them at least three times a year," says neighbor Sam Ciardo.
Acting Rockaway Police Chief Martin McParland says that while bear sightings are common, what is not common is seeing a mother bear with that many cubs.
"This is the first time in my recollection what we've had a sow bear having five cubs in one litter," he says.
Chief McParland does warn residents that if they do see bears on their property, they should not approached them or try to get rid of them on their own.
McParland says to contact the local police department.