Watch CBS News

Bear tagged, released after climbing tree in backyard of New Jersey home

Black bear released into wild after getting stuck in tree in N.J. yard
Black bear released into wild after getting stuck in tree in N.J. yard 01:42

HALEDON, N.J. - A black bear is heading back to his natural habitat after getting stuck up in a tree in the backyard of home in New Jersey all Wednesday afternoon.

Perched high above a backyard, the 17-month-old black bear enthralled a neighborhood all afternoon.

"We saw it climbing the tree. It was moving and everything. It got scared, climbed up even more. Everybody was watching," neighbor Marcela Ocampo told CBS2's Ali Bauman.

Haledon Police started getting calls about the bear stuck in a tree around 3 p.m.

"And I'm like, where's his mom?" neighbor Gwendolyn Cley said. "He's a little guy." 

"I wasn't scared, I love animals," neighbor Maya Espinosa said.

Watch Chopper 2 over the scene

Chopper 2 Flying

Chopper 2 is checking out stories across our area. Let us know where you're watching from. See complete local coverage on CBS News New York:

Posted by CBS New York on Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Police say the bear was not considered a threat because he wasn't acting aggressively, but cops and animal control had to be patient.

"If we would've tranquilized him while it was on top of the tree, had it fallen, the bear could've been impaled," Haledon Police Capt. George Guzman said.

So the neighborhood watched and waited.

"It was really fun to watch, and there was such a big crowd," 9-year-old Samira Miah said.

Police say they tried to lure the bear down with doughnuts, but he didn't take the bait.

 Finally, four hours later, the bear started climbing down. He roamed around a back porch on Barbour Street, and then the Division of Fish and Wildlife got him with a tranquilizer dart.

But the little guy didn't fall asleep fast. He tried scaling the fence and kept going until his claws couldn't hold on.

Finally, cops carried him out, tagged him and sent the bear on his way.

"The bear is gonna be returned to his normal habitat," Guzman said.

"It was a great experience, and I never knew this would happen," Samira said.

Some in the neighborhood are sure gonna miss him.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.