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Bear Passing Through Rockleigh Estimated At 300 Pounds

A screen capture from a Northvale police officer's video of the Rockleigh bear.
A screen capture from a Northvale police officer's video of the Rockleigh bear. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Northvale PD

ROCKLEIGH, N.J. -- A Northvale police officer caught a video of a bear estimated at about 300 pounds who passed through Rockleigh en route to the hills of the Palisades Interstate Park Reserve.

"The lone bear did not appear aggressive," Police Chief William Essmann said after officers responded to a 6:30 p.m. call on Rockleigh Road.

Swiftreach 911 alert messages were sent out to the residents of Rockleigh and Northvale.

Police in Orangetown and officials from the New Jersey Division of Fishing and Game also were notified. CLICK HERE to see the video.

Essmann, meanwhile, offered safety tips for those who come across bears:

•Remain calm and avoid sudden movements.

•Give the bear plenty of room, allowing it to continue its activities undisturbed. If it changes its behavior, you're too close so back away.

•If you see a bear but the bear doesn't see you, detour quickly and quietly.

•If a bear spots you, try to get its attention while it is still farther away. You want it to know you're human so talk in a normal voice and wave your arms.

•Remember that a standing bear is not always a sign of aggression. Many times, bears will stand to get a better view.

•Throw something onto the ground (like your camera) if the bear pursues you, as it may be distracted by this and allow you to escape.

•Never feed or throw food to a bear.

If a bear charges, the chief said:

•Remember that many bears charge as a bluff. They may run, then veer off or stop abruptly. Stand your ground until the bear stops, then slowly back away.

•Never run from a bear! They will chase you and bears can run faster than 30 mph.

•Don't run towards or climb a tree. Black bears and some grizzlies can climb trees, and many bear will be provoked to chase you if they see you climbing.

•If you have pepper spray, be sure that you have trained with it before using it during an attack.

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