The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

Black Bear Wanders into Tenafly


Picture this: you’re taking a stroll in your suburban, boring neighborhood on a warm, sunny day, and then suddenly you see a black fuzzy object with claws and pointy teeth. You rub your eyes to try to wipe away the hallucination and paranoia that you’re experiencing, but once you open your eyes again, you realize that this may not be your imagination.

On Monday, May 28, Tenafly was alerted through the Tenafly Times Facebook page that a bear was casually strolling around the town through Elm Street and also seen at the Smith Elementary School.

Bear wandering through a resident’s backyard on Elm Street.

This isn’t the first time this occurrence has happened; on May 29th, 2018, “The Tenafly Police Department … received two reports that a bear has been sighted on the east side of town near the JCC on East Clinton Avenue, and then shortly thereafter on Leroy Street,” according to The Ridgewood Blog.  

Also in 2010, a black bear cub wandered through Tenafly, Cresskill, Englewood, and Bergenfield. The bear was seen rummaging through through people’s garbage cans and lying down in backyards.

As the alarm was raised among numerous residents of Tenafly, many were eager to follow the bear and take photos. 

Resident Ronen Fischler found the bear on Cypress Street and took many close-up photos of it walking around the grass and hiding in bushes. In some of the photos, the bear is staring directly at the camera.

A repeated question that many Tenafly residents were asking on the Tenafly Times Facebook page was: What do I do when encountering a black bear? 

Well, according to the Department of Environmental Protection of New Jersey,  do not feed, approach, run toward, or make direct eye contact with black bears. It is important to stay calm, be loud, make yourself look big, and fight back. 

It is uncommon for a black bear to get aggressive, as they usually do not attack humans. 

The bear may utter a series of huffs, make popping sounds by snapping its jaws [and] swat the ground,” according to the department. “These are warning signs that you are too close. Slowly back away, avoid direct eye contact[,] and do not run,” the department’s web site says.

Since there haven’t been many reports about the bear recently, many curious people are wondering: What happened to the bear?

According to a Tenafly Police Department dispatcher, the bear was last seen heading north of Closter.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Samantha Shanker
Samantha Shanker, Staff Writer
Samantha Shanker ('25) is a Staff Writer for The Echo. In her free time, she enjoys playing volleyball, hanging out with friends, and listening to music. She is super thrilled to write more stories in the future for The Echo.