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Update: Black Bear Last Spotted in Princeton Borough

Animal Control Officer Mark Johnson and other Princeton officials are trying to encourage the bear up into a tree or into a contained area.

Update, 9 p.m. May 30:

Princeton's animal control officer is still trying to locate the bear, which apparently traveled from the vicinity of the Princeton Shopping Center to the cemetery at the corner of Witherspoon and Wiggins streets in Princeton Borough around 7 p.m. on Wedensday.

The bear was spotted about 50 feet up the tree, but then came down and headed through the cemetery back towards Princeton Township.

A large crowd was gathered outside, trying to spot the bear, despite police efforts to clear the area.

 

Earlier story:

A three-foot tall black bear was spotted in Princeton Township today (Wednesday, May 30). By mid-afternoon, the bear was seen wandering in the woods between Terhune Road and the Princeton Shopping Center off Harrison Street. 

A Plainsboro resident first reported the bear around 12:30 p.m. after spotting it between Thanet Road and Governor's Lane, according to Princeton Township Police Sgt. Mike Cifelli. 

Two news choppers flew overhead as Princeton Animal Control Officer Mark Johnson combed the woods off Terhune Road and police maintained traffic in the area. 

"Obviously, if you see the bear, don't approach it and don't attempt to make contact with it," Cifelli said. "And call us right away."

Black bears typically come out of hibernation in late spring and are often spotted in the area, Cifelli said. Last year, there were multiple sightings of a bear along Cherry Hill Road for several days before the animal apparently left the area. 

Typically bears do not approach people, police said. 

Township Police notified the state division of wildlife management, which will respond if and when the bear is up a tree or in a contained area. 

. It is unclear if that bear and the one spotted today in Princeton Township are the same.

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