HARMONY TWP, N.J. - A Warren County, New Jersey family is heartbroken after their pet goat was mauled and killed by a bear, and the surrounding community is concerned that more encounters with bears could be on the way.
Zeke, a 13-year-old pygmy, was always known to safely hang around on the porch of his family's Harmony Township home with other pets cared for by the West family.
But, this always safe place became frightfully dangerous earlier this week when a black bear suddenly appeared in the night sky, mauled Zeke and dragged him into the woods.
"We heard him yelling; he was screaming for us," Joyce West said of Zeke. "It's really upsetting. He was our pet."
West said that while her family and other pets cannot bring back Zeke, she notes that there's plenty that can be done to prevent another family from sharing the same heartbreak.
She wants her neighbors, friends and fellow community members to know there's an aggressive bear somewhere in their neighborhood.
"I want people to be cautious. It's really scary," West said.
It's news that has other residents watching their backs a littler closer now. Nearby residents who spoke with 69 News said the incident is making them more alert.
Officials with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection estimate that there will be more sightings of black bears this year because of the harsh winter we had -- the bears in essence, are starving looking for food.
"This past winter was long and difficult for residents of New Jersey and our wildlife,'' said DEP Senior Wildlife Biologist Kelcey Burguess said in a news release. "Due to the severity of the winter and lack of mast in the forests last fall, black bears are now more desperately seeking food. Naturally occurring food sources, normally available at this time of year, remain scarce this spring, forcing bears into more developed areas in search of food.''
A pressure cooker was found in Terminal A on Saturday afternoon, according to police for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.Read More »
- Holiday travelers will encounter rising prices at the pump
- Flemington man facing sex assault charges
- Investigators suspect deadly maneuver in jet crash
- Warren County Freeholders call a meeting of mayors
- Environmental group to spend $130K in governor's race
- Phillipsburg steps back salary ranges after resident complaints
- Two zoos mourn the loss of Ernie the giraffe
- Memorial Day services across Berks County
- Visitors celebrate at Dorney Park despite rainy weather
- A place of healing for veterans
- Walking a mile in their shoes
- Weather stops big guest at Pottstown Memorial Day parade
- 'Taps' echoes over Bethlehem
- Marking Memorial Day in the Lehigh Valley
- No extreme warmth or cold over the next 7 to 10 days
- Car fire slows traffic on I-78 near Hellertown