136-pound bruin puts Milburn in a tizzy

Authorities were able to sedate and capture a young bear that caused the lockdown of two nearby schools in Milburn Wednesday.

The bear was spotted near Wyoming Avenue and Cedar Street, close to an elementary school and a nursery school. The schools were locked down as a result of the animal's presence. Police managed to chase the bear up a tree before animal control officers could shoot him with a tranquilizer.

"Due to the two neighborhood schools we felt the best course of action was to tree the animal," says Sgt. Peter Ekley, of the Millburn Police Department.

The tranquilizer was not strong enough, however, and authorities needed to make loud noises in order to keep the bear in the tree until State Fish and Wildlife biologists could take over.

Upon arrival, the biologists set up a net below the tree and moved in close enough to hit the bear with a more powerful dart. The bear was on the ground within minutes.

The 136-pound yearling was estimated to be about 18 months old. Tags in his ear show the biologists had previous contact with the animal last fall when it was still a cub.

The experts believe the bear was chased out of his home by an older, larger male. The biologists also feel this is the same animal spotted earlier in the week in Springfield and West Orange.

The biologists refer to bears of this sort as "urban bears" and say they deal with these sort of incidents around 10 to 12 times a year. The bear was slated to be relocated to state-owned park land.

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