Police are tracking a wandering black bear in Monmouth and Ocean County, NJ

Police in several coastal towns tracked a black bear first seen wandering the Toms River on Friday evening.

It’s unclear if it’s the same bear, but it appears to be in photos and videos posted on social media.

Facebook/Toms River Police

Facebook/Toms River Police

After the Toms River sighting, police in Howell and Lakewood also reported residents calling to see a black bear.

Facebook/Howell Police

Facebook/Howell Police

On Sunday, the bear (if it’s the same one) wandered around Barnegat town centre.

The Lakewood Scoop posted a video of the bear on its Twitter page.

Barnegat Police Chief Keith Germain has posted advice from the National Park Service on what to do if you encounter a bear.

“I’m sure you heard the news,” Germain said. “While we all love living on the edge of the 1.1 million acre Pine Barrens, that comes with the occasional unexpected visit from neighbors who moved in before us.”

Germain mentioned coyotes and rattlesnakes, but “today’s celebrity is one of the many American black bears that inhabit our area.”

Facebook/Keith Germain

Facebook/Keith Germain

Bear sightings have increased in all areas of New Jersey and are expected to continue as juvenile bears begin to separate from their mothers and begin exploring on their own.

The bear reported in Ocean and South Monmouth counties appears to be young.

Bear sightings have also been recorded in Middletown ahead of the Memorial Day holiday and in the Atlantic Highlands.

Proponents of a black bear hunt say the lack of hunting is causing the bear population to increase sharply, but the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection no longer tracks population numbers.

Governor Phil Murphy ended black bear hunting in 2021 and resisted all attempts to reinstate it. New Jersey, says Murphy, “is committed to using non-lethal, humane yet intelligent and safe means to control the population.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story should have identified Keith Germain as Barnegat’s police chief.

Eric Scott is the senior policy director and anchor of New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

Click here to contact an editor about a comment or correction for this story.

Cape May, NJ: 15 Wonderful Places to Visit

15 Sensational Places to Visit in Seaside Heights and Seaside Park

From the rides to all the boardwalk food to the many water fun, Seaside Heights and nearby Seaside Park has remained a family friendly place for all ages.

Along the way, the Seaside Heights boardwalk and Casino Pier were hit by tragic disasters, such as a fire, Super Hurricane Sandy, and another fire. Both have proven their resilience through reconstruction and expansion.

UP NEXT: See how much gas cost the year you started driving

Comments are closed.