A trio of black bears caused concern for some residents of Kinnelon Estates Wednesday morning, with one resident describing the bears as "wreaking havoc" after the bears hung around a bus stop.
Resident Chris Roslan said a mama bear and two cubs have been "tearing it up over in Kinnelon Estates."
"Last week, they trashed every single garbage can on both Clearwater Drive and Magdalena. They did the same again today and were hanging out at the bus stop (Clearwater and South Glen) while the kids were there (they wouldn’t move!)," Roslan said.
Kinnelon police responded to the bus stop to ensure the safety of the residents, Lt. John Schwartz said. Schwartz said everyone was safe Wednesday morning, but bears have been reported throughout the borough recently.
"They're very active this time of year because they're getting ready to hibernate," Schwartz said. "This year as been an abnormally active year."
Schwartz said between January and December of 2011, 97 bear complaints were logged by Kinnelon police. This year, already 107 complaints have been filed.
"They're just very, very active this year and we don't know why," he said.
Schwartz said the bears have not been more damaging than usual or creating cause to be tranquilized or killed, but they are making their presence known more than in the past. Police have responded to the calls, but generally try to scare the bears back into the woods without use of the rubber pellets often shot at bears by law enforcement officials to scare them away.
Roslan said the bears have caused some disruptions in his own neighborhood though.
"Two weeks ago, they were in my garage trying to get into the garbage and I heard they also broke in to a neighbor’s brand new shed to get at the garbage," he said.
But while they may be a nuisance, Schwartz said the bears are simply on a mission.
"They're really just looking to eat," he said.