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Bear ambling around Aspinwall

| Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 10:06 a.m.
Police, residents and animal control officers searched for a bear on the loose in Aspinwall after wandering through the neighborhood bordering the Aspinwall Recreation Field on Wednesday, June 12, 2013.
James Knox | Tribune-Review
Police, residents and animal control officers searched for a bear on the loose in Aspinwall after wandering through the neighborhood bordering the Aspinwall Recreation Field on Wednesday, June 12, 2013.
A bear with a traquilizer dart hanging from its back climbs the hillside to Route 28 in Aspinwall, evading police and animal control officers after wandering through the neighborhood bordering the Aspinwall Recreation Field on Wednesday, June 12, 2013.
James Knox | Tribune-Review
A bear with a traquilizer dart hanging from its back climbs the hillside to Route 28 in Aspinwall, evading police and animal control officers after wandering through the neighborhood bordering the Aspinwall Recreation Field on Wednesday, June 12, 2013.

Tranquilizer darts probably didn't do much to slow down the young black bear wandering Aspinwall on Wednesday, a state official said.

“The bear was obviously worked up from all the people that were around it,” Wildlife Conservation Officer Dan Puhala said. “I did shoot it with a dart to knock it out ... Sometimes when there's a lot of adrenaline involved in one of these animals, the drugs have a limited effect.”

Someone called 911 to report a bear sighting before 6 a.m., and another call came in about 9 a.m. when someone saw the bear in the 200 block of Fifth Street, an emergency dispatch supervisor said.

Residents later spotted the bear in the Aspinwall Recreation Field off Fifth Street. The bear was last seen with a dart in its backside climbing up a hillside toward Route 28 about 10 a.m.

Puhala said it appears the bear ran across the highway to the woods between Camp Guyasuta in O'Hara and Firemen's Memorial Park in Aspinwall.

Officials will see if they receive any more reports about it. Ideally, Puhala said he would like to relocate it.

“We got the bear out of the populated neighborhood,” Puhala said. “It's probably sleeping it off in the woods somewhere.”

He described the bear as about a 1 12 years old and between 120 and 140 pounds. This time of year, adult bears ready to mate push away their “teenage” offspring, he said.

“They're getting dispersed, and that's when they get in trouble,” Puhala said. “They're looking for a place to go.”

Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or mharding@tribweb.com.

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