Police put down bear in Union Beach

Posted: Updated:
UNION BEACH -

A bear that was spotted in Union Beach was put down by police when it headed toward a busy area, authorities say.

In a post on social media, the Union Beach Police Department says the bear was found in a tree between homes in the area of Edmund Avenue Saturday night.

State Fish and Wildlife officials were contacted, but they said they couldn't tranquilize the bear during nighttime hours due to safety concerns. State officials gave the police recommendations on monitoring the bear until it headed back into the wild.

Police say they waited until the bear finally came down, kept citizens away and monitored its movements. But instead of returning to a marshy area, police say the bear headed toward the area of Florence Avenue, a main road with many residents and weekend traffic, and police put the animal down.

In the Facebook post, the department said, "This decision was not made lightly. However, the safety of residents and their families must always take top priority."
 

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