Another bear visit for Pittsburgh Mills mall
State and local police were scrambling Sunday evening to prevent a wreck on Route 28 as an adult bear apparently tried to make its way to Pittsburgh Mills mall, where a smaller bear was captured Saturday night after getting inside a Sears store.
The larger bear was seen several times off the northbound side of the highway between the Cheswick and mall interchanges from about 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The smaller bear had been reported at the mall around 8:40 p.m. Saturday.
Police believed the second bear was trying to cross the highway to get to the mall and were hoping it would not cause a crash.
The bear eluded police a number of times after being spotted, moving closer to the mall. Police at times carried shotguns for protection.
"It's a large bear. You can't take a chance," Frazer Officer Stanley Zembrowski said.
After viewing a photo taken by a Valley News Dispatch photographer, a Game Commission officer guessed the bear weighed 300 pounds.
Police briefly stopped all traffic on Route 28 shortly before 9 p.m., when the bear appeared ready to cross, putting both paws up on a guard rail, but it retreated into the brush.
While police waited for it to appear again, the bear apparently doubled back, crossing the road right in front of Dave Dennison's car.
Dennison, 31, of Natrona Heights, said he saw lights of police cars ahead as he drove north, then saw something black come out of the woods in front of him. After just missing it, he stopped to tell police what happened.
"That just scared the mess out of me," he said. "Once I got up on it, I was shocked. I couldn't believe it."
Police believe the larger bear is the same one that made an appearance at the mall shortly before midnight Saturday, after commotion over the smaller bear had died down.
The smaller bear was described as a female yearling, weighing about 125 pounds. It was tranquilized so it could be relocated.
Around 11:45 p.m., police learned of a bear in the parking lot of the Olive Garden restaurant, Frazer police officer Timothy Christian said.
Christian said it appeared to be following the same path as the bear that had been captured earlier.
Police saw the bear around the Olive Garden and LongHorn restaurants before losing sight of it behind LongHorn, Christian said.
The bear did not threaten anyone, and officers did not shoot at it, Christian said.
The larger bear appeared to have Game Commission tags in both ears, said Dan Puhala, a commission wildlife conservation officer.
Puhala said anyone who sees the larger bear should give it space and leave it alone.
Although there was speculation the larger bear could be related to the smaller one, possibly even its mother, Puhala said he doubts the two are connected.
The smaller bear was wearing a collar with a tracking system. It was found to have been from Cambria County, and was taken back there.
He declined to provide more information, referring questions to Game Commission officials.
As for the larger bear, "I don't know what to make of this one," he said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- LaBar: Like it or not, Reigns is rising with Royal Rumble win
- Rossi: Crosby’s debt to NHL paid in full
- Penguins’ Fleury surrenders 7 goals in 1 period of NHL All-Star Game loss
- First quarter nightmare for Monessen
- Senator opens Connellsville office
- ‘Free’ wine kiosk initiative costs state Liquor Control Board $300K
- Radioactive radon permeates Western Pennsylvania homes
- Pittsburgh diocese campaign big success
- Breen, North Catholic top West Mifflin
- Bloomfield bookstore owner bucks naysayers
- Serra Catholic’s Sieg learning to lead in senior season