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Bear Spotted in Residential Area of Richland Township

Resident of Grandview Estates spots bear, calls 911.

Bears have been sighted in the past week in a residential development in Richland Township.

Grandview Estates resident Cathy Wiskemann said she saw a bear in the plan on July 20.

"I called 911 and let them know. The dispatcher said that there had been many calls that day about bear sightings. The police came and said there is nothing they can do as long as the bear is on the move," Wiskemann wrote in an email.

"What concerns me is that the 275-pound female has a cub. If this is the same bear that has been reported to be seen in backyards in West Deer, I worry with a cub that the female could get hostile," she continued. 

"I live in a neighborhood with lots of children and pets.  I am not an expert on bear behavior, and I understand they are only looking for food, but when they start to bed down in backyards, isn’t that a bit dangerous?"

A call to the Pennsylvania Game Commission Monday was not returned. Wildlife conservation officer Dan Puhala did, however, call on Tuesday. Click here to read updated story.

WPXI-TV reported July 20 that a bear had been spotted in West Deer Township, which borders Richland to the east. The bear is showing up close to homes and is going after bird feeders, according to the WPXI report.

Basically, what the game commission recommends is:

Don't feed the bears. 

"Black bears will consume almost anything," according to "Living with Pennsylvania Black Bears," an article on the game commission's website.

"They will eat human food, garbage, bird feed, pet foods and livestock feed. They also raid cornfields and beehives.

"Once bears find easily accessible food sources, whether on a farm or in a housing development, they lose their wariness of people and will keep coming back as long as food is available," the article said.

"The best way to get rid of these unwanted visitors is to remove the food source for a month or more, but even then, there are no guarantees."

The game commission recommends storing trash, bird seed and pet food inside a building, garage or secure shed. It also suggests not putting trash at the curb until the morning of collection, and then washing the garbage cans regularly with hot water and chlorine bleach.

To read the full "Living With Pennsylvania Black Bears" article, click here to get on the game commission's website. In the bar across the top of the page, click on "Self Help." From the drop-down menu, place your cursor over "Your Property and Wildlife." From there, click on "Living with Black Bears."

Susan Cox July 26, 2011 at 02:48 PM
An amazing and educational source of information is the North American Bear Center. Go to bear.org on the internet. vvv

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