Bears and whales and ducklings, oh my: it was a wild (animal) week in NJ

This was a big week for animal sightings in New Jersey, with critters of all kinds gracing our streets, schools, shores and even a backyard!

In Union, a bear caused a bit of a freakout on Wednesday when Eric Rodriguez and his girlfriend Tatiana Iglesia saw the animal walking down the street and then rummaging in a garbage can near Rodriguez’s house. Watch the video they captured of the bear and their reactions (you can bet I’d be screaming too if I saw a bear that close up!).

bear-eating-garbage-union-eric-rodriguezCourtesy Eric Rodriguez

On Thursday, a bear sighting in Montclair led school officials to keep students indoors.

A Montclair resident had a backyard bear visitor show up unexpectedly.

#bear sighting in my backyard!!! #notthatkindofbear #bearnecessities

A photo posted by Stephen Nolan (@sjncoolman) on

In Scotch Plains, a bear also made itself at home in someone’s backyard.

Speaking of dangerous animals, on the Jersey Shore, fisherman Josh Hart captured what’s believed to be a “clinging” jellyfish, the likes of which have never been seen in New Jersey before. Multiple stings (ouch!) by this kind of Jellyfish could lead to hospitalization or kidney failure. Watch NBC Philadelphia’s report about this scary sighting.

On a happier note, at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach, a playful whale made an appearance yesterday to frolic in the water.

Finally, a heartwarming story of ducklings who were found in a storm drain in Teterboro, but were thankfully rescued when a woman driving by noticed them and called animal control. Sadly, one poor duckling escaped under a fence, and according to News 12 New Jersey, “Animal control officers are now trying to find the missing duckling, as well as the mother duck.”

Things can get wild wherever you are in New Jersey, whether you’re simply going about your day or relaxing on the beach. You never know what types of creatures will show up, so be on the lookout!