Another black bear sighting in New Jersey, this one in Shannon Holly

Have you heard of the TV show Man vs. Wild, right? Well, I have an idea for a new reality show. It’s called Jersey Girl vs. Nature. It’s when a city girl radio personality is forced to confront the threat of a bear hanging around her neighborhood and the hilarity that ensues.

Police issued a warning that a “very large black bear” had been seen walking through our neighborhood. I was out Friday night at our local high school football game when my neighbor called me to say that they had seen a bear in my yard. He warned me to keep my kids and dog indoors and to follow local updates.

Saints#!*!!! It was all I could do to work up the courage to run back to my house with the children. I woke up in the morning thinking maybe I was exaggerating a bit. I mean it’s probably just moving, right? Wrong. He was seen walking down my street again early that morning and on the other side of my fence my trash was all over the yard. Another neighbor took this photo earlier in the year from his garden. There’s no way of knowing if it’s the same bear or not, but lately we’ve had more than our fair share!

Photo Credit: Jennifer Casola

Photo Credit: Jennifer Casola

My next door neighbor reminded me to “look up in the trees” before letting the dog out. So you can imagine I’m on edge. Just to add a bit of humor to this, let me share this moment as well. After waiting until Sunday to leave my house, I finally decided to open my shed to get lawn mowers to trim my bushes in the front yard. Mind you, I’m still pins and needles on bear sightings. I open my shed to find some kind of groundhog/rodent watching me before it escapes. You cannot be rational at this point, I am convinced that the bear is a friend of the groundhog and they are all there. Both the rodent and I ran in separate directions making our own versions of screams. Nature 2, Shannon 0.

ICYMI Lou and I talked about that this morning on the show. Hear the story here.

Jokes aside, bear sightings have more than doubled this year. Why? A woman was attacked by a bear when she went out to check her mail last May. Remember it? That attack was in Sussex County. She went to get her mail around 4:30 when she saw three bears and one charged her. Fortunately, a neighbor used her car horn to scare away the bears. The woman had injuries to her arm and back.

We saw this big boy on someone’s doorbell just a few weeks ago.

Additionally, two small dogs were mauled to death in their own backyards last January.

There have been nearly 400 bear encounters this year alone. (These are actual encounters, not just sightings). What the hell is going on? I feel like it has to do with COVID keeping us in our homes for so long and the animals felt it was “okay” to go out. Now we’re back and we all get together more than any of us want. Another reason is that bear hunts have been canceled in New Jersey for the time being. Also, experts say mother bears tend to have two healthy cubs every two years and most of the time the cubs survive, so we are currently dealing with an influx. Construction never helps and New Jersey is constantly being built.

However, there has only been one documented death in the history of our state, so maybe you should take a deep breath.

Can you believe there are some crazy people trying to keep a wild bear as a pet? Personally, I am against anyone keeping exotic animals, but this is a list of the ones that are legal in the state of New Jersey.

10 Exotic Animals That Are Legal to Own in New Jersey

These pets are prohibited in every state.

LOOK: These are the pets prohibited in each state

Because regulation of exotic animals is left up to the states, some organizations, including the Humane Society of the United States, advocate for standardized federal legislation banning the keeping of large cats, bears, primates, and large venomous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the country.