Black bear shows up for work at NJ office complex www.privateofficer.com
PARSIPPANY NJ June 9 2012— Employees at an office complex off Route 10 had a surprise visit Thursday from a small black bear.
The male bear was spotted roaming the grounds of the Octagon 10 Office Center around 9 a.m., police said. Parsippany police officers and rangers from the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife responded to the scene.
Rangers estimated that the bear weighed approximately 154 pounds and was between 18 and 19 months old, the typical age when mother bears send their offspring out on their own.
Rangers cornered the bear in a courtyard area between two office buildings and shot the animal with a tranquilizer gun. They then waited about 15 minutes to ensure that the bear was fully asleep before proceeding to tag and tattoo the bear with an identification number.
The rangers also took measurements and a blood sample while a small crowd of employees from the adjacent office building gathered to take photographs on their cellphones. A few of the onlookers even reached down and touched the bear after it had been tranquilized.
“I live in Sussex County, where there are a lot of bears, but this is the first time I’ve seen one like this,” said Alison Glazer-Baurenfind.
When the rangers finished their work, they carried the bear on a tarp and placed him inside a cylindrical bear trap in the bed of a pickup truck.
Rangers said they planned to transport the bear to Black River County Park in Chester Township, where they would release him.
“We’ll let him sleep it off this afternoon,” said Kelcey Burguess, principal biologist for the Division of Fish and Wildlife, on Thursday. “He’ll be fine.”
In a study conducted a few years ago with East Stroudsburg University, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection found the black bear population in northwest New Jersey to be around 3,500.
DEP spokesman Larry Ragonese said the department’s black bear management plan includes research, education, trash management and habitat study. The plan also calls for bear hunts, which have taken out 1,100 bears in the last two years, he said.
“So far this year, we’ve seen a marked reduction in sightings, nuisance complaints, and bear-human encounters,” Ragonese added.
Ragonese said that New Jersey black bears do not normally pose a threat toward humans: “They’re just looking to eat, sleep and get a little exercise.”