BEAR SIGHTINGS IN THE AREA

There have been a couple of bear sightings in York County over the last few months. Recently in the north east of East Manchester Township and southern Windsor Township.  This is a re-occurring event in Pennsylvania as the bears mate primarily from June to July.  The Sows will chase off their previous litter of cubs that are approximately 1.5 – 2 years old so they can mate with adult Boars (males). 

These juvenile bears are curious and are trying to find their own range to make their home territory.  Bears typically travel quite a distance and seeing them in this area is for a short period of time…..UNLESS, they find food. 

It is important to minimize the opportunities for the bears to find food at your homes or properties.  Bears will be attracted to the scent of food scraps left in garbage cans outside, bird feeders, pet food left outside, gardens, and food grease on outdoor grills. 

Bears generally avoid humans and will run off when they see or smell humans.  That being said, do not underestimate a bear’s size, speed or strength.  They are very fast for their size and even a juvenile bear’s claws are long and sharp enough to cause damage to an adult human. 

These are wild animals and should not be approached.  The Pennsylvania Game Commission provides several suggestions or warnings for people to use in case of encountering a black bear:

Alert the Bear – make noise so the bear can hear you, see you and or smell your human scent.  Do not surprise a bear as they can be unpredictable at that time. 

Get Back – slowly walk away while facing the bear so you know where the bear is.  Do not run!

Stay Calm – While walking away do not make sudden movements.  Attempt to get space between yourself and the bear and to a place of safety: residence, vehicle or other obstacle to be placed between yourself and the bear. 

Pay Attention – Bears may stand up in order to use their senses to determine what you are.  Do not view this as a sign of aggression.  Continue to walk away while facing the bear and make noise.  Talking loudly and some even speak to the bear, “Go Away, Bear!” 

Fight back – Black bear attacks are extremely rare.  If a black bear attacks, you should fight back by using anything available to you to strike at the bear. 

(Source: Pennsylvania Game Commission, www.pgc.pa.gov)