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Haledon school put in shelter-in-place due to bear sighting near campus

This is the latest incident involving a bear in northern New Jersey within the last few weeks.

Joti Rekhi

May 16, 2024, 9:40 PM

Updated 35 days ago

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A Passaic County school was put in a shelter-in-place Thursday afternoon because of a black bear sighting.
Manchester Regional High School in Haledon had the alert because a bear cub was spotted near the campus. The shelter-in-place was lifted once the cub went back into the woods
Residents like, Jessica Calderon who lives nearby, say they are on edge.
“It's a little nerve-racking because we have children that hang out outside. So we just have to keep a close eye. We also have a dog that we walk sometimes at night. I heard that if we keep our distance and don't bother it, the bear won't bother us,” says Calderon.
This is the latest incident involving a bear in northern New Jersey within the last few weeks. Thursday’s bear cub was spotted not too far from where a bear was seen up in a tree on North 16th Street in Prospect Park on May 10.
Lynn Roukema and Grace Hygrek were among a handful of residents who went over to the neighborhood to get a look at the bear while it slept.
“She told me she wanted to see the bear because she's never seen a real bear. So we walked over and saw it,” said Roukema. “It's cool. I'm not afraid of them. I know the rules to keep away from them.”
She’s used to seeing bears, having grown up in Bergen County.
In Sussex County, a dog was killed and another dog was injured in two separate bear encounters in Sparta Township. Bears were also spotted in Princeton and South Orange.
“We have a brand-new puppy we just got two weeks ago. So that even adds to our fear,” said Calderon.
Police are urging residents to use caution and stay alert if they see a bear. They should avoid direct eye contact and are warned to back away slowly. People are also encouraged to make loud noises to scare a bear away.


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