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Black Bear Sighting Alarms South Jersey Residents

A fully grown black bear seen munching on trash has alarmed residents living near Wharton State Forest.

Henry King, Getty Images

Waterford Police say the bear, between 250 and 300 pounds, didn’t show any signs of aggression Wednesday morning as it headed back into a wooded area off Jackson Road near the Atco Raceway.

Numerous calls about it had been received.

The sighting caused officials to put the Thomas Richard Elementary School on temporary lockdown and to have children waiting at bus stops to return home for a while.

Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Ragonese tells The Courier-Post that bears are rarely spotted in southern New Jersey but that black bears can be found across the entire state.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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