PRINCETON — A black bear exploring Princeton is making waves as it passes through residential neighborhoods and frightens some families.

The bear has been meandering through the Ivy League town for at least a week. An alert from police on Aug. 11 said the bear was spotted near Route 27, where it runs alongside Carnegie Lake.

Planet Princeton reported that the bear was seen again Thursday in the area of Karin Court south of the Springdale Golf Club. In the meantime, it's ventured by Riverside Elementary, the All Saints Church on Terhune Road, and Gallup Road.

A bear jumps a fence at Riverside Elementary on Aug. 11, 2022. (Andrew Leman on Youtube)
A bear jumps a fence at Riverside Elementary on Aug. 11, 2022. (Andrew Leman on Youtube)

"Do not attempt to approach or interact with the animal," police said. "Do not feed, chase or interact with the bear. Notify police if any aggressive behavior is observed.”

One video submitted to Planet Princeton shows a family running inside after spotting the bear running up their driveway. The bear has also been seen taking interest in people's trash cans.

A statewide bear activity report for July from the Division of Fish and Wildlife shows that total reported incidents have tripled over last year. The biggest jumps were in reports of aggressive encounters, nuisance calls, and sightings.

Mercer County was quiet last year with zero incidents from June 20 to July 21, 2021. This year, the county saw a spike up to 11 incidents in the same period.

Residents can report black bear damage and nuisance cases to the Department of Environmental Protection hotline at 1-877-927-6337.

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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