2 bears killed by cars in West Deer, Hampton in as many days | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

2 bears killed by cars in West Deer, Hampton in as many days

Mary Ann Thomas

Two young black bears, possibly siblings, were hit by cars over the weekend in West Deer and Hampton.

There were no reports of injuries to people in either incident, according to Dan Puhala, a Pennsylvania Game Commission warden who covers northern Allegheny County.

The first bear was hit early Saturday morning along Tarentum-Culmerville Road in West Deer and was estimated to be about a year old.

The second bear, also a yearling male, was hit along Route 8 near Clearview Road sometime early Sunday. It was estimated to weigh about 117 pounds, according to Puhala.

“The bear that was hit was causing a traffic jam because people were stopping to look at,” he added.

The young bears likely were exploring for new territory and looking for food when they got hit by the cars, Puhala said.

Bears tend to be active after dusk and early in the morning, he added.

They could have been part of the same family, but Puhala couldn’t say for sure.

Police reported that a large bear with two smaller ones were spotted earlier in West Deer.

“The smaller bears would be last year’s cubs, and this is the time of year when the females push these yearlings away and the young bears are looking for new territory,” Puhala said.

Based on the location of the crashes, their timing and the previous sighting, the bears that were hit could have been siblings, he said.

The West Deer bears likely were year-round residents. West Deer, Fawn and Frazer in northeastern Allegheny County are the known southern-most breeding range of black bears in the county, according to Puhala.

As these yearling males look for new territory from now through the summer, there will continue to be bear sightings in area such as Hampton, where they don’t typically live, Puhala said.

“The bears will turn up wherever they feel like they want to go,” he said. “It has to do with habitat and available food supply.”

So far this year, the only other unusual bear report received by Puhala was a sighting at the Hampton and Indiana townships boundary near the end of February.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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