Northern Regional Police investigate calls about bear sightings - PineCreek Journal

Northern Regional Police investigate calls about bear sightings

Thursday, July 25, 2019 | 4:58 PM

A black bear was spotted traveling through Pine Township, with sightings reported near Pine-Richland High School and along Old State Road last week.

Northern Regional police Capt. John Sicilia said the department received a number of calls about the sightings and officers checked the area across from the school where construction is taking place as well as along Old State Road.

“By the time our officers got there, the bear was gone, but that’s not uncommon for this area,” he said. “We do see them every once in a while.”

Zeb Campbell, a game warden with the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s southwest regional office, said it’s mating season, and therefore the time of year when cubs that were born a couple of years ago will move on to find their own territory.

“Most of the time, they travel at night, but the last couple of days, with the temperatures in the 70s, it hasn’t been too hot so you will see them move during the day sometimes, too,” he said. “Most likely it will be toward the beginning of the day or at dusk.”

If a bear is spotted, Campbell said, it’s important to know that they want less to do with people than people want to do with them.

However, it doesn’t hurt to bring bird feeders inside and to cease feeding any other wildlife or pets outside if a bear is known to be in the area.

“You don’t want them to think it’s an easy place to grab a snack,” Campbell said.

Also, if someone is letting a dog out at night it may be a good idea to keep him or her on a leash until the bear has passed through.

“A bear’s not going to attack a dog unless the dog scares it,” he said.

The main thing if one does see a bear, Campbell said, is to make noise. It should move on its way. Don’t turn and run, he said, because that could provoke the animal’s natural instinct to chase, but rather put your arms up, yell, scream and walk backward toward the house.