They may look cute and cuddly, but a wild animal spotting is not an excuse to pull out your camera phone.
Morris Township Police say a mother bear and her cubs have been spotted by numerous town and township residents since last weekend, in the area of Martin Luther King Avenue over the weekend and most recently in the Lake Road section of Patriots Path.
And, township police were on the lookout Wednesday afternoon when a Dorothy Drive resident called in a report of what she believed to be a mountain lion.
"We checked the area, but we didn't see any, and no signs," Morris Township Police Capt. Rich Ferrone said. A number of neighbors also said they had not seen or heard anything.
"Sightings of mountain lions have been on the rise throughout North Jersey over the past few years," Ferrone said. "Like many wild animals, mountain lions generally avoid contact with humans. The food source for mountain lions mainly consists of deer, which there are plenty of in the area."
The police are in contact with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, to find out if a mountain lion would even venture into this area. "Could it be something else? What should our concerns be," Ferrone said.
Either way, and whether it's a bear or some kind of cat, he told residents not to approach the animals in either case. While bear sightings are common in this area—and this mother bear and her cubs appear to be heading back into the woods—Ferrone said to call the police as soon as possible if anyone sees the so-called mountain lion.
And, if you see the bears, "make sure you stay from the cubs," Ferrone said. "They may be cute, cuddly cubs, but mother bear won't take kindly."