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Essex County Sheriff Investigates Fatal Bear Shooting at South Mountain Reservation


By: Richard L. Smith 

Essex County Sheriff Armando B.Fontoura   is leading an investigation into a tragic incident involving the fatal shooting of a black bear at South Mountain Reservation in Millburn earlier today.AdAccording to a statement released by the sheriff's office, the emergency took place at approximately 11:22 AM when a distressed call was made by a woman reporting that she and her young daughter were trapped by a bear near Locust Grove within the reservation. 

Responding to the urgent call, Essex County Sheriff’s officers rushed to the scene, locating the woman, her child, and other park visitors.

As officers attempted to lead everyone to safety, the bear reappeared on their path, prompting an immediate response to ensure the group's safe exit from the area.   


After successfully escorting the visitors out, officers tried to encourage the bear to return to the woods. AdHowever, Sheriff Fontoura said the situation escalated when the bear advanced toward them, leaving the officers with no choice but to shoot the animal to protect themselves and others nearby.

The sheriff's office is currently conducting a thorough investigation to review the circumstances leading to the bear's shooting and to assess all actions taken during the incident.