Roaming black bear captured near Ridge School in New Jersey

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Roaming bear captured near NJ school
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Toni Yates reports from Ridgewood, where the bear was tranquilized after climbing its third tree of the day.

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- A roaming black bear near Ridge Elementary School in Ridgewood, New Jersey has been tranquilized and captured after climbing a tree near the school.

Students were permitted to leave school after dismissals were delayed at GW Middle School and Orchard Elementary in addition to Ridge Elementary.


The state Department of Fish And Wildlife deployed nets in preparation for tranquilizing the bear. The students were held in school until it was deemed safe to release them.

"The bear is fine, he's tranquilized, we're still waiting for the chemical to take a little more effect. He's wrapped up in the net and there will be no more running today," said Carol Tyler of Tyco Animal Control. "He's fine, we caught him and he didn't hit the ground hard at all."

Earlier Tuesday, the bear was seen walking on lawns and on roads on West Ridgewood Avenue.

"It crossed the road and all traffic stopped, and a woman got out of her car and screamed," said one woman who was walking her dog when she saw the bear.

The Ridgewood Police Department issued an alert, telling residents who live nearby to stay indoors and not approach the bear.

The bear walked across several properties before authorities used the sound of gunfire to push the bear into a wooded area. The bear eventually climbed a tree near West Ridgewood Avenue.

Officials will attempt to transport it back to a more wooded area. After a couple of hours, the bear came down from one tree, and then climbed another. It stayed there for awhile, then climbed down and went up a third tree near the school.