Bear spotted in Vineland, safely caught

June 29, 2012 3:30:24 PM PDT
A black bear that caused quite a stir in Vineland, New Jersey was tranquilized and safely caught after sitting in a tree for hours.

"You don't see bears in trees in Vineland," said Julie Lopez.

While that's usually the case, Friday was a little different.

It was a unique moment as several spectators snapped photos of a 1-year-old black bear as he sat in a tree on the first block of Howard Street.

"It's weird seeing a bear in the middle of Vineland but it's neat," said Shaun Dwyer, one of many curious spectators.

The Action Cam was on the scene the bear - weighing approximately 100 pounds -climbed up and down.

At one point the animal hopped onto the roof of Tara Baston's home.

"It's crazy and weird," Baston said as she recalled hearing the unusual footsteps on her roof.

Residents seemed genuinely intrigued and with good reason, as bears are not particularly common in South Jersey.

"They're common to the northwest part of New Jersey," said Captain Tom Ulrich of the Vineland Police Department.

Police tried to keep the public informed - unsure of the bear's next move.

"They shouldn't approach it, shouldn't chase it and secure your garbage," said Capt. Ulrich.

Fish and Game Commission officials arrived later Friday afternoon and tranquilized the bear.

The goal is to safely remove the animal and return it to a more natural habitat.