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Sunday, June 11, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Need animal control? Call Jack

WEST MILFORD, N.J. — A black bear picked the wrong yard for a jaunt, running into a territorial tabby who ran the furry beast up a tree — twice.

Jack, a 15-pound orange-and-white cat, keeps a close vigil on his property, often chasing small animals, but his owners and neighbors say his latest escapade was surprising.

"We used to joke, 'Jack's on duty,' never knowing he'd go after a bear," owner Donna Dickey told The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.

Neighbor Suzanne Giovanetti first saw Jack's accomplishment after her husband saw a bear climb a tree on the edge of their property last Sunday. Giovanetti thought Jack was simply looking up at the bear but soon realized the much larger animal was afraid of the hissing cat.

After about 15 minutes, the bear descended and tried to run away, but Jack chased it up another tree.

Dickey, who feared for her cat, called Jack home and the bear scurried back to the woods.

"He doesn't want anybody in his yard," Dickey said.

Bear sightings are not unusual in West Milford, which experts consider one of the state's most bear-populated areas.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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