Some Union County residents had an unexpected visitor when a black bear took a tour of their neighborhood on Tuesday evening.
According to officials, the bear strolled through several yards in Scotch Plains at approximately 9 p.m., it was also spotted in the driveway of a home in the 2600 block of Deer Path before heading back into the woods.
The Deer Path resident contacted authorities when they spotted the bear wandering on their property.
According to The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, black bears are becoming increasingly common in New Jersey as the population continues to grow and expand.
NJDEP officials said multiple reports of bear sightings, even in heavily populated residential areas, have been on the rise. The Wildlife Division has also seen an increase in the number of reported problems with black bears.
Officials said the contributing factor to bear nuisance problems is mainly the presence of easily-accessible food sources near homes and businesses. Fed bears can become habituated and lose their fear of humans.
NJDEP advises residents to stay away from black bears. Do not approach the bear to take a photo or video as the animal could become aggressive.