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Valley News Dispatch

Young black bear seen walking around New Kensington

Mary Ann Thomas
| Wednesday, July 4, 2018, 3:12 p.m.
Black bear near Ridge Avenue and its intersection with Catalpa Street in New Kensington, July 3, 2018.
Courtesy of Emma Shirey
Black bear near Ridge Avenue and its intersection with Catalpa Street in New Kensington, July 3, 2018.
Black bear in Oak Alley, New Kensington, July 3, 2018.
Courtesy of Emma Shirey
Black bear in Oak Alley, New Kensington, July 3, 2018.

A young black bear ambled through the streets of New Kensington on Tuesday afternoon, crossing Freeport Road near RJ Slater IV Funeral Home and the old Alcoa research building before disappearing into the woods between Freeport Road and Valley High School, according to residents and reports to Westmoreland County emergency dispatchers and the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Young black bruins show up this time of year in towns and urban areas as they wander the region looking for their own territory after their mothers shoo them away to prepare for their next litter.

One sharp-eyed city resident, Emma Shirey, 9, was in a car in New Kensington with her father George Shirey when she spotted the bruin a block away.

Shirey told his daughter, "You didn't see a bear."

He thought it might be a big dog.

But as Shirey watched the animal, which he estimated to weigh about 100 pounds, run down Ridge Avenue and Catalpa Street and saw it looking into garbage cans along Oak Alley, he knew Emma was right.

"My daughter was extremely excited and she wanted to get a picture," said Shirey.

Emma managed to take some photos from inside the car.

"It was an exciting experience for us to see something like that in a third-class city," Shirey said.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission doesn't try to trap wayward bears unless they become a nuisance by hanging around residential areas.

The agency advises residents to discourage bears from returning to their property by removing garbage, bird food or anything else a bear would want to eat.

For more information on black bears, visit PGC's website .

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4691, mthomas@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib.

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