'Like a teenager,' bear meanders through Phila. region

Posted: May 15, 2014

He's just a teenager trying to make his way in the world.

That's how a state wildlife conservation officer described a young male black bear that wandered through the Philadelphia suburbs and ended up in a Montgomery County park Tuesday.

Chris Heil of the Pennsylvania Game Commission spent most of the afternoon in the area of Lorimer Park in Abington trying to tranquilize the bear, which he estimated to weigh about 125 pounds.

With evening approaching, Heil said he would use an eight-foot-long trap with a bait bag to try to snare the solitary omnivore. Then it would be safely relocated to state game lands.

"This occurs every year," Heil said of black bears showing up in the suburbs around springtime.

"They're young males looking for their own territories," Heil said.

This particular bear is probably 21/2 years old, so "he's like a teenager just trying to get out on his own," Heil said.

This bear was first spotted Saturday in the area of Richboro, Bucks County, Heil said. The nocturnal creature probably followed creeks or railroads at night until Tuesday, when he finally reached a place too populated with humans for him to go unnoticed.

"It's the worst possible area for him, with the exception of Bustleton and Cottman," Heil joked.

Black bears are the only type of bear found in Pennsylvania and can grow to weigh as much as 800 pounds, Heil said.


bmoran@phillynews.com

215-854-5983

@RobertMoran215

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