Frazer bear sightings prompt heightened precautions
The arrival of two black bears in two days at the Pittsburgh Mills mall prompted state Game Commission officers to install traps on Monday and for Frazer police and mall security officers to increase patrols.
Game Commission officers tranquilized a 125-pound female bear that entered the Sears store on Saturday night.
The Game Commission and police are on the lookout for a larger bear, at least 300 pounds, that was seen crossing Route 28 near the mall Sunday evening. It was spotted again Monday morning.
“All of this is a precaution,” said Pittsburgh Mills general manager Jerry Crites.“We don't see any danger. Everyone should realize that if they see one, don't walk up to it. Keep your distance and be aware.”
Mall security officers are increasing their patrols, and Frazer police have access to more than a dozen parking lot surveillance cameras.
“They have increased patrols, and they are being more vigilant” said Frazer clerk Lori Ziencik.
Game Commission Southwest spokesman Tom Fazzi said the 18-month-old bear tranquilized was taken to Cambria County, where it had once been trapped and fitted with a global positioning system collar.
“She has never been aggressive,” he said, “but for whatever reason, she started to move west about a month after she was collared.”
Over a number of weeks, the bear walked to Indiana and Armstrong counties and into Mercer County outside Grove City before heading south.
Fazzi said that is surprising because female bears usually don't go too far from their mother's home range.The larger bear was spotted early Monday in a wooded area behind the Wal-Mart and two mall restaurants.
Fazzi said a conservation officer was setting up traps in a wooded area off of mall property and another on mall property.
Pennsylvania is home to 18,000 to 20,000 black bears, Fazzi said. Most are more timid than bears in western states.
Fazzi said the animals usually run from people and seek to avoid them.
“They are pretty docile for the most part. Black bears don't need to be feared, but respected” because of their teeth, claws and strength, he said.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.