Bear sighting leads to cancellation of some outdoor school activities in Essex County

Residents in South Orange reported seeing the bear near Thornden Street and Walton Avenue.

Amanda Lee

May 14, 2024, 12:48 AM

Updated 6 days ago

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Outdoor school activities were canceled for some schools in Essex County on Monday after bear sightings were reported in South Orange.
Residents reported seeing the animal wandering near Thornden Street and Walton Road.
The South Mountain Reservation is about a mile from the area but police weren't sure where it came from.
South Orange Police Capt. Adrian Acevedo said, "I've been here for 26 years. I can't recall a bear sighting in town."
Officers shared video of what looks like a medium-sized black bear walking around the neighborhood around 7 a.m. They contacted New Jersey Fish and Wildlife, then tracked the bear until it went back into the woods.
The South Orange-Maplewood School District canceled all outdoor activities once they got the alert.
Police say if you encounter a bear, do not run, just back away slowly while facing the bear and group together if you're with others.
This is the third bear sighting in a residential area of northern New Jersey in the last few days. A bear was spotted in Bergen County on Saturday and in Passaic County on Friday.


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