Tag Archives: bear alert

all i need

there are just 2 things i need, a vacation and to lose the weight i’ve been carrying around since my sabbatical in nj.  i managed to find the perfect retreat up in the catskill mountains where i plan on doing a 5 day juice.  in addition to not eating, i will practice yoga, meditate, catch up on some reading and hopefully get some really nice photographs.

upon arrival i met with the retreat owner who asked what it was that i wanted to accomplish this week.   i told her i intended to get some really good photographs of a bear or two.  her reaction made it pretty obvious that that wasn’t the usual answer she received from guests.   she proceeded to weigh me and directed me to meet in the dining room for dinner juice at 6:00.  she then told me if i was going to see a bear at all i should ask the fitness instructor to point out the area where they kept the dumpster on the hike which was planned for the following morning.   i unpacked my things, grabbed my camera and headed out to explore. after hiking around for 20 minutes or so,  i saw something moving in the distance through the trees.  upon closer examination i noticed that the moving object was near a blue dumpster.  before my brain had time to process the situation, i found myself in a  staring match with a black bear.

in the next half of a second, all of the following happened:

i thought about this amazing photo op

i realized i was shaking

i remembered that not even roger bannister could out run a black bear

i calculated that i only had to run approximately 1/8 of the distance to saftey than the bear did

i wondered if bears could run 8 times as fast as me

i watched the bear jump off the dumpster and charge full speed ahead up the path towards me

i thought about how no one really knows how the end will come but this is ridiculous

i think i teleported into the spa.

the next thing i recall is slamming the front door with all my might, startling the woman at the front desk (not to mention all of the people enjoying  the relaxing spa treatments they had paid good money for).   i proceeded to scream at the top of my lungs,  “i found the bear!  shut the doors! it’s chasing me!”  there may have been more  but that’s all i know for sure that i yelled -very loudly.   at that point my heart was trying to come out of my throat and my overall state of panic prompted the staff to start scrambling around the first floor shutting all open doors and windows.

i can’t remember being so scared since the time ellice and i were stalking high end hookers & got chased down the center of fifth avenue by two of the biggest, furriest, gold wearing pimps in the city, who apparently thought we were encroaching on their corner.  thankfully i survived both incidents.

when the tremors stopped i got in my car and went back to the scene of the nearly fatal attack.  here is what i found:

bear alert

The Bernards Township Police reported a third bear sighting this month on Friday, June 18.

At 6:45 p.m., patrol officers responded to a report of a bear in a tree near the intersection of Mine Brook Road and Chapin Lane, according the Lieutenant Edward Reese of the Bernards Police. The bear climbed down from the tree shortly after the police arrived.

Unlike the previous two sightings, the bear was described as being large, weighing approximately 250 pounds. It was last seen walking into a wooded area on the Far Hills side of Mine Brook Road.

On June 3, a Somerville Road resident requested police help in removing a large bear cub from the property. By the time the police arrived a few minutes later, the responders were unable to locate the bear.

As first reported in the Bernardsville News, a second bear spotting occurred near the Ridge Oak Senior Housing complex on Manchester Drive. The residents described the animal as a “small bear.” No animals have been captured to date.

Bear Safety Tips

The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife lists several bear facts and safety tips for New Jersey residents.

Among the safety tips when spotting a bear in the wild are:

  • Do not get scared and do not run.
  • Do not feed the bear.
  • Do not go near the black bear.
  • Do not look directly into the bear’s eyes.
  • Make sure the bear can get out of your yard or campground easily if it wants to. Don’t stand in front of the escape route!
  • Make lots of noise. It could scare the bear away.
  • If you are playing with friends, get in a big group. Talk and wave your arms. You will look really big and the bear might leave.

Residents can alert the police to bear’s sighting by calling 9-1-1 in emergencies or the Bernards Township Police Department


i’m  not quite sure why a bear just being a bear required a warning to call it in to 9-1-1 as an emergency – but i think what i’m most curious about is bullet point #3 –  “Do not go near the black bear.” 
does this imply that all other colors are ok to approach?


“In the end, we conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.”
– Baba Dioum, Senegalese