Mother Bear and Cubs Foraging in West Caldwell

Four bears making their way through residential neighborhood Sunday morning.

A mother bear and her three cubs were foraging in an area of West Caldwell known as the Gardens Sunday morning. 

The four black bears were reported to be scouring through garbage cans in the neighborhood around 11 a.m., and a couple of hours later they were spotted on Richard Avenue behind a home just off of Bloomfield Avenue, a busy county road.

West Caldwell Police were keeping watch on the bears' activity, according to Capt. Gerard Paris, who was on the scene.

A children's soccer game scheduled at nearby Richard Park was moved as a precaution. 

The sightings have been reported to the N.J. Department of Fish and Wildlife, but officials from the environmental agency had yet to respond around 1 p.m.

Giulio Marandola who lives on Richard Avenue said he saw the mother bear and her cubs coming down his street. Marandola said he tried to get a photograph, but they were moving too fast. 

"It's pretty exciting," Marandola said about his otherwise quiet neighborhood.

Another neighbor, Scott Rozell, said his two young children were riding their bikes outside Sunday morning when they received a warning from the police.

"They told us to keep the kids inside," Rozell said.

Paris said the police would assist the bears in making their way to a more natural habitat and help them get across Bloomfield Avenue, if needed. 

Konner Chevrolet, about two blocks away, was packed with people who came to see a vintage Corvette show. Bloomfield Avenue was closed off with orange cones at Francine and Distler avenues.

Bear sightings are unusual but not unheard of in the Caldwells, Paris said.

Last summer, a black bear was captured on video in North Caldwell cooling off in a backyard pool.

E.D. September 23, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Thank God they didn't kill them. If they were spotted in North Csldwell they would have called in the National Guard and declared it a state of emergency. It's amazing how civil and caring the West Caldwell & Caldwell residents are. BRAVO!
Kean09 September 23, 2012 at 10:06 PM
What happened... How about an update...
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon September 23, 2012 at 11:32 PM
The Gardens? I thought everyone called that part of town "The Flats".
Justina September 23, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Love that the poice Dept and residents and wanting to track them instead of killing them. There are alot of horror stories about bears but they are much more scared of you then you are of them. I use to live in Bear Country I ran into bears more than people and never once threatened by one. Took my garbage, took my grill, ate my garden but they would walk by me like nothing one even let me film her and her cubs Im more afraid of people intruders than bear intruders.
Elisse Glennon September 24, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Those photos are incredible! What a crazy story!
rocky5517 September 24, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Instead of thanking God the bears weren't hurt, I'm thankful no humans were hurt rocky5517
E.D. September 24, 2012 at 02:45 PM
ThAt goes without saying!! They will attack if provoked. If you provoke them you deserve it!
HurryCaneJH September 24, 2012 at 04:26 PM
What are the different areas of West Caldwell called? I've been told I live in the Cedar Section or something like that? I've heard of the Flats, but what are the other areas?
Teresa Akersten (Editor) September 24, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Just posted an update with amazing photos here: http://caldwells.patch.com/articles/police-bears-disappeared-into-woods
Dennis Wall September 30, 2012 at 06:16 PM
I've lived here almost all of my 57 years and it's always been "The Gardens" to me. :)
Barbara Metzler October 01, 2012 at 12:18 PM
The bears' summer diet of greens and berries has been shriveled by heat and drought. They need acorns and beachnuts in the fall to bulk up for winter, but the weather has damaged fruit tree buds and the supply of acorns and other wild nuts. Bears are intelligent and resourceful, so they are rummaging through garbage looking for sustenance They are not being evil. They are trying to survive. New Jersey has asked homeowners and businesses to stop attracting bears with improperly contained garbage and pet food. But not enough people listen


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