Police at the New Jersey shore have shot and killed a bear that was roaming through the town.
In a Facebook post, Union Beach police say the bear initially was spotted in a tree between two homes Saturday night. Officers cleared bystanders from the area, but after four hours the bruin headed toward a heavily populated area instead of toward a marsh.
Police said in the post that they contacted the state Division of Fish and Wildlife to request a team to tranquilize the bear, but were denied.
A Fish and Wildlife spokesman said Sunday it doesn't tranquilize bears using chemical mobilization drugs during nighttime hours, due to safety concerns.
Full Facebook post:
Lastnight, the UBPD initially received a report of a bear in the area of Dock and 3rd Street. Upon investigation, this report was determined to be true. The bear was located on Edmunds Ave, in a tree between two residential homes.
Upon locating the animal, the UBPD secured the area and immediately contacted State Fish & Wildlife to request a team to respond to Union Beach and tranqualize and relocate the bear safely. The request was denied. State Fish & Wildlife, "this is outside of our protocol" was the response we received.
State Fish & Wildlife did provide rudimentary suggestions as to how to deal with the situation; ie., evacuate all bystanders from the area, turn off all lights etc. and the "bear should go away and most likely will head toward the marsh."
The UBPD followed these suggestions to the letter. Homeowners, pedestrians/bystanders were advised and warned to stay away from the vicinity, lights of emergency vehicles were turned away from the animal and officers followed its movements from a safe vantage point.
Unfortunately, after 4 hours of safely monitoring it's movements, the animal headed toward and eventually made its way to the area of Florence Ave, a main road, very populated with residents and heavy weekend traffic.
This decision was NOT made lightly. However, the safety of residents and their families must always take top priority."
With the Associated Press