Black Bear on Prowl Within 3 Miles of Manhattan

By Brian Thompson
|  Monday, May 10, 2010  |  Updated 11:30 PM EDT
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Black Bear on Prowl Within 3 Miles of Manhattan

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An Allentown woman was mauled to death by her pet black bear

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Police in Englewood, N.J. tell NBC New York they have spotted a black bear about three miles from the George Washington Bridge that connects New Jersey to Manhattan.

"The last sighting was in Denning Park," said Deputy Chief Larry Suffern late Monday night.

Suffern said his officers first spotted the bear on Sunday, and kept it under observation all day Monday until they lost it in the park.

He said police called the state, but  said he was told "Game(Fish) and Wildlife won't come unless it's an aggressive bear."

So far, Suffern admitted the bear has shown no signs of aggression.

"We were informed to just monitor it, that it's just looking for its habitat," Suffern added.

Englewood is one of New York City's original bedroom suburbs, lying just across the GW Bridge from Upper Manhattan.

This is not the first time a bear has been sighted this close to Manhattan.

About a decade ago, a bear was seen and photographed by police on the Palisades Parkway in neighboring Englewood Cliffs before moving north through Tenafly and Cresskill toward more  natural habitat.

But Englewood, with a thriving downtown and leafy streets, may be the place to be for the state's growing bear population.

Deputy Chief Suffern said "Three weeks ago we got a report of two or three bears, a mother and its cubs."

Follow Brian Thompson on Twitter @brian4NY

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