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May  10

Bear in Transit

Reportedly a picture of the black bear that's been prowling Essex County, sent into us today by a reader in Clifton. We still don't have the name of the actual photographer. R.I.P.

May 10, 2006 in The Daily Chat | Permalink


I am glad that none of the law enforecment personnel involved were injured, or anyone else for that matter, but these stories always seem to end with the same tag line "When the [insert name of animal] did [something], they had no choice but to kill it." I am skeptical. Maybe the bear legitimately exercised some threatening behavior. Fair enough, take the bear down. But me thinks many times people are hell bent on taking the animal down the easy way, i.e., a number of shotgun blasts to the chest. Or they are not sufficiently trained to AVOID eliciting a threatening response. I really hope these people are trained for this sort of thing. That's not too much too ask.

Posted by: montclair_is_crazy | May 10, 2006 4:15:17 PM

This is a picture taken in Essex County? Essex County Maine, perhaps.

Does anyone know of a stretch this deserted in Essex County? Furthermore, there's not even any trash alongside the road, nor potholes. No way is this Essex County, NJ!

Posted by: carya | May 10, 2006 4:15:53 PM

Can't be Maine (the road is paved). But other than that, carya, you are right on. I bet it is just someone who wants the $100 the Barista offered for the bear. Maybe the Irvington cops will claim it. Fucking shame, if you ask me.

Posted by: Conan the Grammarian | May 10, 2006 4:22:59 PM

That is either a bear CUB or a rather large dog. It is definitely not an adult bear. I too wonder whence the log cabin and the woods, and the only place I can think of in Essex County that semi-resembles this is the area by the golf course alongside the East Orange reservoir in Millburn.

This incident becomes sadder all the time.

Posted by: cathar | May 10, 2006 5:47:46 PM

It was a young bear, from what I understand. My BF says that often the older males push younger ones out of the *commmunity* because it threatens their dominance. That's probably what happened in this case.

Posted by: Miss Martta | May 10, 2006 7:47:04 PM

If we'd like to avoid bears, perhaps we should stop cutting down trees and building houses in their habitat.

Posted by: Dog Mom | May 10, 2006 9:45:59 PM

...it was a young bear, from what I understand. My BF says that often the older males push younger ones out of the *commmunity* because it threatens their dominance. That's probably what happened in this case....

That's also one reason why sending the little bear back to his native area would just get him pushed out again.

I don't think there's any doubt NJ has far more bears now than it's had in recent decades. Building in their habitat makes it worse, but even if Sussex County was vacated, the boy bears would still be chased out by the older males and end up in Newark, Middletown, etc.

Posted by: Paul from OB | May 10, 2006 10:16:22 PM

Paul from OB says: "That's also one reason why sending the little bear back to his native area would just get him pushed out again."

So, that makes it all right to gun him down? I'd like to see the report that says this creature was threatening. But don't get me wrong - I'm not tree-hugger - if I saw a bear in my backyard, I'd freak out too ... but not to the point of saying "kill the bears!"

Posted by: jack | May 10, 2006 11:06:28 PM

If a bear is wandering around Essex Country, Dog Mom, then chances are the houses built in "its" territory are many years old. Are you advocating levelling Baristaville and giving it back to the bears, the rightful owners? Would you volunteer to abandon your house for the cause? And where would you go to live--back to the caves of Africa where your ancestors originated 3 million years ago?

Posted by: walleroo | May 11, 2006 1:07:21 AM

Walleroo, last time I checked, most homes in Baristaville do not normally have bears in their backyards. Yet, the bear had come from somewhere, and I rather doubt it took DeCamp #33 to get here.

I'm not advocating leveling anything. All I'm saying is that if we continue building, we need to be aware that in doing so, we are taking creature habitats. Therefore, it shouldn't come as any surprise that we start seeing more wildlife around.

Posted by: Dog Mom | May 11, 2006 4:18:20 AM

Right on, Dog Mom! Let's not blame a few cops who were protecting human children for the wildlife encroachment caused by upper middle class lust for more ostentatious houses and urban escape! Wonder why no one has praised those cops for preventing an imminent threat to Irvington's human children?

Posted by: black nana | May 11, 2006 6:40:21 AM

So if the bear was already dead, what was all that helicopter action over Nishuane Park last night 5-10? They were looking for something.

Posted by: churchlady | May 11, 2006 6:43:41 AM

Wonder why no one has praised those cops for preventing an imminent threat to Irvington's human children?

Thank you, Black Nana.

Posted by: Bitpusher | May 11, 2006 6:53:13 AM

Comment deleted by Baristanet

Posted by: cottage cheese | May 11, 2006 6:55:57 AM

Why has no one praised the cops? Probably because they let a situation get out of hand and then over reacted.

Posted by: Kevin Lee Allen | May 11, 2006 7:31:53 AM

How did they let the situation get out of hand? If you have information that the rest of us don't, please share it.

Why do you say that they overreacted? Are bears more important than school children?

Posted by: Bitpusher | May 11, 2006 7:48:16 AM

Really wake up today people and realize this was not a Pixar Madagascar movie of a friendly animal running through the streets--this was a scared 300 lb bear capable of great damage caught out of it's environment--in a highly population dense area-of people that don't sit at home watching the news to follow the progress of where the bear may or maynot wind up--

As it happens the bear made it's way to an area filled with people ---at any given turn he/she bear could have ran across a street causing a fatal car crash-surprised an urbanite in it their back yard, wandered into an open back door of a business---Come on-no one wanted the bear to die-but lets not forget animals do not respond to verbal commands- it knows one thing when threatened, surprised, or hungered to attack---quick action had to be taken and you sit here and judge.

I wonder what LA LA land you all come from-

Posted by: cstarling | May 11, 2006 8:45:18 AM

Clarice, I realize you're going to rush to the defense of those still in your former field of endeavor. But this was a confused bear, not a gangbanger with a Tec-9 and attitude. And he was felled by shotguns.

You don't have to summon up images of Godzilla run amok here. That was unfair. In Vermont, Montana, even (as others have reasonably pointed out) Sussex County, what became a media circus and a chance for urban cops to show they can use their firearms is pro forma reality. And is dealt with less bloodily.

The bear should have been commended for his/her orienteering skills, tranked and relocated. Bringing him down was not at all like the end of, say, the Dalton gang. And quite possibly might have been unnecessary. Perhaps the action the cops took could have gone a little more slowly, and pacifically, if they'd thought the bear's confusion through beforehand. That's all people are really saying above, they're hardly conjuring up "lala land" since we're talking Newark and Irvington.

Posted by: cathar | May 11, 2006 9:07:19 AM

Read the freaking story people. The bear was not an "imminent threat" to any children. The AC guy judged that it was a threat to the cops who had cornered the bear & made the decision to kill.

It may have been the only decision under the circumstances, but I am suspicious that the cops may have created the circumstances by cornering the bear.

Of course the cops are not trained for this sort of thing, & no one can ascribe blame at this point without having examined the scene of the incident.

I hope that analysis of what happened will lead to better procedures that can be used next time.

Posted by: crank | May 11, 2006 9:07:46 AM

So if the bear was already dead, what was all that helicopter action over Nishuane Park last night 5-10? They were looking for something.

Posted by: churchlady | May 11, 2006 6:43:41 AM

Trying to figure out where the next school is going to be built?

Trying to follow Google Maps to Newark Airport?

Looking for more township open space to sell?

Looking for the Water Bureau's missing $500,000?

Trying to find "convenient" parking for the MHS kids who have to drive
to school?

Posted by: carya | May 11, 2006 9:07:49 AM

the bear looks "retouched" into the background in photoshop...

Posted by: stacey | May 11, 2006 9:28:12 AM

Where were all you ppl yesterday when we had this same discussion? It should not have come to the bear getting shot and killed that is the bottom line. As has been said many times, it should have been tranq'd, tagged and set free. Bears entering crowded cities is a fact of life. The further we strecth into their habitat, the more likely it will happen more and more often.

Posted by: D | May 11, 2006 9:39:07 AM

scouting out the new Montclair dog-park location.

looking for a location to move several of the Christopher Court houses to.

try to find the Junior League House so they could take an air tour.

Searching for Scooty and Frodo

Posted by: pissant | May 11, 2006 9:40:16 AM

This picture could have been taking in Livingston the bear was seen there too.

Posted by: Hanneh | May 11, 2006 10:13:04 AM

Nervous police officers in Irvington had to chase three or four young children from nearby backyards, and were growing more worried that more than 1,000 neighborhood children would soon be walking home from school.

Jim Osorio, a Morristown animal control officer who had been called in to assist, was in position to shoot the bruin with a tranquilizer dart and was preparing to pull the trigger when it reared up on its hind legs and assumed an aggressive position, he said.

``We were going to tranquilize the animal and try to relocate him,'' he said. ``It did not happen that way. I tried to save the animal.''

But when the bear reared up, police had no choice but to kill it, said Osorio, who gave the order to shoot.

--Osorio gave the order...

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