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Bear wanders Cape Cod to Provincetown

June 7, 2012 at 1:47 AM

PROVINCETOWN, Mass., June 7 (UPI) -- A black bear was spotted Wednesday near the tip of Cape Cod in Massachusetts while a school in South Jersey was locked down because of another wandering bear.

The bear seen in Provincetown is believed to have swum the Cape Cod Canal from the mainland more than a week ago and wandered east and north on the Cape, the Cape Cod Times reported. Sgt. Carrie Lopes of the Provincetown Police said there was a report of the animal near U.S. 6, the Cape's main artery.

In New Jersey, a large black bear was spotted in Atco, WPVI-TV, Philadelphia, reported. Students at the Thomas Richards Elementary School were kept inside for the day because the animal was believed to be nearby.

Waterford Police Lt. Daniel Cormaney said the bear "did not seem aggressive." He said state wildlife officials advised police and local residents to keep their distance and not to feed the bear.

The state said a bear family is believed to have been living in woods behind Atco Raceway for several years. Atco is on the edge of the Pine Barrens.

Black bears were extinct or close to it in New Jersey because of hunting and habitat loss but have bounced back, with hundreds believed to be living in the mountainous northwestern region. In recent decades, male bears have been spotted in central and even southern New Jersey as they roam in the spring.

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