AGGRESSIVE BEAR CAPTURED BY WILDLIFE OFFICERS IN WEST MILFORD
(10/P62) TRENTON - An aggressive black bear that was the focus of a weeklong search since attacking a West Milford man and his dog last week was captured Thursday night by officers of the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife and has been euthanized.
The 188-pound female bear was caught in West Milford, in northern Passaic County, at about 4:45 p.m., near the site of the June 24 incident. The bear was caught in a specially set trap adjacent to a residence that had been victimized by the bear, which had broken into the family’s chicken coop.
The owner scared the bear away from the house, and it ambled into the nearby trap, said wildlife officers.
This was the same bear that charged and knocked down a man walking his dog in the “Jungle Habitat’’ section of Norvin Green State Park in West Milford and also has been identified as aggressive toward humans in two prior incidents, said state wildlife officials.
“This bear’s behavior escalated to the point where it was a threat to humans,’’ said Patrick Carr, Supervising Wildlife Biologist for the Division of Fish and Wildlife. “We had to take action in this case.’’
In the June 24 incident, the victim told authorities the bear charged out of the bushes and knocked him down. His dog then tangled with the bear and was seriously hurt _ though the pet is recovering. The victim was interviewed by State Park Police and a conservation officer and wildlife technician.
State wildlife officers monitored the area for the past week and set traps for the aggressive bear. They encountered three other bears but none displayed aggressive behavior. The June 24th incident caused a portion of the state park to be closed for the past week and prompted a delay in a local fireworks display.
Meanwhile, an unsuccessful attempt was made Thursday to capture three, six month old cubs that were accompanying the adult female. Based on a field officer’s observations, the cubs should be able to survive on their own.