Over the past few weeks, Monmouth County has had a few unusual visitors.

I'm not talking people, I'm talking black bears.

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Shannon Holly from the Jersey Shore Morning Show told the story of a friend who got an early start at 5:30 one morning, looked out the window, and saw a black bear climbing a tree.

photo: Shannon Holly's neighbor
photo: Shannon Holly's neighbor
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This happened on Coachman Drive in Freehold Township on May 19.

The bear was looking for food and was going after the bird feeder.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection says that if you come in contact with a black bear to stand your ground and avoid direct eye contact.

Then, slowly back away. Absolutely do not run. If the bear does not leave, move to a secure area.

American Black Bear
Lynn_Bystrom
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Freehold is inland enough that seeing a black bear is rather rare but not unheard of.

Atlantic Highlands. That's a completely different story.

The Atlantic Highlands Police Department issued a statement on its Facebook page Friday afternoon saying that there had been multiple black bear sightings in the area of Upper East Highland Avenue and Lenape Woods.

Lenape Woods and Mount Mitchill Park are closed until further notice.

Anyone who does not live in the immediate area should stay out of the area and residents who live in the area should keep a close eye out on the area.

Black bear
Jillian Cooper
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New Jersey Fish and Wildlife believe that the bear will move on from Atlantic Highlands soon. But, if you see the bear, officials are asking that you please call (877) 927-6337.

According to the Atlantic Highlands Police Department Facebook page, Fish and Wildlife will not respond to remove the bear from our location unless it gets into a fixed position such as a tree or an enclosure.

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

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