🔹 Black bear reported in NJ park

🔹 Mom unable to leave with child called for help

🔹 Bear charged at sheriff’s officers

An aggressive bear was shot and killed in South Mountain Reservation late Monday morning, according to the Essex County Sheriff’s Office.

Around 11:22 a.m., a mother called Sheriff’s Office dispatch for help, saying she and her young daughter had been “trapped by a bear in the area of Locust Grove and could not exit.”

South Mountain Reservation Millburn area (Google Maps)
South Mountain Reservation Millburn area (Google Maps)

Essex County Sheriff’s officers responded to the area and found the mother and child, as well as other park visitors.

While trying to safely escort the group out of the reservation, the bear showed back up on the path heading out.

Once the group was out safe, officers tried to get the bear to return to the wooded area — but the bear advanced on the officers.

Sheriff Armando Fontoura said they had “no choice, for their safety and the safety of anyone else in the immediate area, to dispatch the bear.”

SEE ALSO: NJ town proceeds with controversial geese plan, despite protests

Essex County

The South Mountain Reservation covers 2,110 acres as part of the Essex County Park System.

It spans parts of Maplewood, Millburn and West Orange and borders South Orange.

Black bears have been spotted occasionally in the area, as they have in every county of New Jersey in recent decades.

Last month, a black bear was reported wandering through South Orange. Outdoor activities were canceled by the South Orange-Maplewood school district, as a precaution.

In April 2016, a 227-pound black bear was seen near the Reservation days before being captured at the Hilton Branch of Maplewood Library, according to VillageGreenNJ.

Last year, it was an aggressive coyote in South Mountain Reservation that caused a park closure.

The animal attacked a 13-year-old girl and her small dog, as previously reported.

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