Black bear on the loose near Route 9 in Ocean County, officials say

Bear spotted in Ocean County. (Stafford Township Police Department)

Bear alert! Police say a black bear has been spotted in Ocean County Wednesday afternoon.

The bear was seen wandering in a wooded area on Route 9 in Manahakwin, according to a Facebook post by the Stafford Township Police Department.

Police say the animal was headed north near Cedar Bridge Road across from Southern Regional High School. 

Residents are urged to stay away from the area, and not to approach the bear.