SPARTA — Authorities are warning residents to stay vigilant after a pair of bear attacks in North Jersey left one pet dog dead and another injured.

The first attack happened last week, according to Sparta police.

A Sparta resident was with their pet dog on Graphic Boulevard on Thursday, May 9, police said. The dog saw the black bear and ran after it; the bear swiped back and injured it, according to state Department of Environmental Protection spokesperson Caryn Shinske.

Then another attack not far away occurred in a residential yard on Mountain Spring Drive on Monday, May 13, Shinske said.

Two bears — a cub and its mother — were in the yard. A small mixed-breed dog ran after one of the bears and it swiped at the dog and killed it, according to Shinske.

Canva/Google Maps
Canva/Google Maps

The state Division of Fish and Wildlife is investigating and has set up a bear trap, Shinske said. A request for information from New Jersey 101.5 was pending early Thursday afternoon.

David Golden, assistant commissioner with Fish and Wildlife, said to ABC 7 Eyewitness News that most bears are out looking for food.

"People can prevent encounters with bears by removing or properly securing any potential food sources such as trash, pet food or bird seed. It is also critically important for people to never feed black bears. Feeding bears is dangerous, illegal and may result in bears becoming aggressive," said Golden.

Police are urging the public to keep their guard up. Anyone who sees an aggressive bear or other aggressive wildlife is asked to immediately call the Sparta police at 973-729-6121.

READ ALSO: New Jersey commuters bracing for another toll hike

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