SPARTA — The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is in the process of attempting to capture and euthanize a bear involved in a deadly attack on a small dog in Sparta late Wednesday night.

The Division of Fish and Wildlife has set a trap in order to catch the bear, DEP told New Jersey 101.5 early Friday.

Meanwhile, officials say a similar trap attempt earlier this month, related to a separate bear-versus-dog attack in the same Sussex County township, came up empty.

It's not yet known whether the same bear is responsible for both attacks, DEP said.

In the most recent incident, a man on Layton Lane called police when he discovered his dog after following "bear tracks and blood in the snow," according to a report from TAPinto.net. Police said the dog, a Yorkshire terrier, was brought to a local animal hospital but couldn't be saved, according to the report.

Less than three weeks earlier, an English springer spaniel did not survive injuries sustained in a bear attack. Its owner, an 81-year-old woman, was bitten on the leg while attempting to free the dog.

Following the Jan. 3 incident, DEP indicated that the bear involved will be euthanized if officials are able to capture it. Their attempt was unsuccessful, DEP said Friday.

"A trap that was set to capture that animal was removed after 7 days after not being caught, in accordance with state policy," DEP spokesman Larry Hajna said.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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