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Bear Visits Union Town Hall

A bear first spotted on Chestnut Street earlier this week reappeared Tuesday in a tree behind town hall, was safely tranquilized and removed.

Union Town Hall had a special visitor as they arrived to work Tuesday: an 18-month-old, 187-pound male black bear had climbed a tree behind the building and settled in.

The bear was previously spotted by a resident on Chestnut Street on Monday, but when police arrived, the bear had disappeared. (Though initial reports stated the bear was sighted near Connecticut Farms Church Nursery School, police told Patch that the bear was actually in a resident's yard and not near the school.)

But Tuesday the bear came out of hiding once again, spotted by employees around 8:30 a.m. Police kept an eye on the bear while waiting for a bear rescue team, according to Union Township Media Technician Natalie DaSilva.

"There are only two teams in the state in the Division of Fish and Wildlife that do this, so they had to wait for quite a while," DaSilva told Patch.

DaSilva said that as the bear began to make his way out of the tree, the team had arrived and the bear was tranquilized and loaded into a truck. He will be released away from the suburbs on state land, according to DaSilva. The team had also set up nets underneath the tree in case the bear did fall.

DaSilva says bear sightings are not very common in Union, though she did remember there was one other sighting last year. There were sightings last year in nearby , and .

Mayor Joseph Florio and Police Director Dan Zieser told the Star-Ledger that this outcome was preferable to a June 2011 incident that resulted in the shooting death of a 125-pound bear that had wandered near Lincoln Technical School.

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