Myrna Gottlieb is an avid collector of Teddy bears, so maybe it’s fitting that a 271 pound male black bear ended up in her yard today (Wednesday).
“It wasn’t scary, I was kind of amazed to see it. I’m a Teddy bear collector, so maybe this is fitting,” she said moments after the Division of Fish and Wildlife tranquilized and captured a black bear that had been traveling through East Brunswick for several days.
East Brunswick Police, the township Animal Control Officer, and the Division of Fish and Wildlife put an end to a nearly three day odyssey that had officials tracking a 3-year-old black bear through the township. Cornered in a tree on Tompkins Road, the bear was tranquilized from the ground before falling safely into a net below. The bear will now be moved out of the area to a state run “open space” large enough to contain it. However, the bear has had run ins with the Division of Fish and Wildlife before, most recently in Monroe and causing havoc near .
Kim Tinnes, a Wildlife Services technician, said she has helped move the bear three times this year to the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area. Each time, however, the bear has decided to migrate, possibly in search of a mate.
“There are no females in the area, and they live to breed. He’ll keep walking until he finds a female he can settle down with,” said Tinnes.
The 3-year-old bear was first spotted on Monday, July 4, at approximately 7:20 p.m. near Cranbury Road and Helmetta Boulevard. It was then chased down Dunhams Corner Road into a wooded area near the Joyce Kilmer Rest Stop on the NJ Turnpike, where the Division of Fish and Wildlife decided to leave it alone because of available light.
On Tuesday, July 5, the bear was spotted on Dunhams Corner Road near the Township’s Recycling Center, traveled through numerous residential yards until finding a swampy area near the NJ Turnpike. It . At about 2:30 p.m., it climbed a tree in the neighborhood between . Because of its location, Fish and Wildlife were unable to remove the bear, police said. Today, the bear was cornered in a tree at Tompkins Road.
Throughout the event, Animal Control Officer David Blumig followed the bear on foot and in his vehicle, occasionally trying to scare it up a tree with a blow horn. Once in the tree, Fish and Wildlife responded. The bear will now be fitted with a radar collar so that it can be followed more closely.
Despite the bear’s wanderings, Tinnes said this has not been a particularly bad year for bear sightings.
“It seems like it’s been bad because I’ve moved this one three times, but it’s not been all that bad a year,” she said.
Tinnes said she has not been told where the bear would be brought yet.