Bear is killed in Horsham

Posted: June 02, 2014

IT WAS more bad news for bears in the burbs.

A 250-pound male black bear was euthanized about noon yesterday in Horsham because of a broken leg, said Cheryl Trewella, of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. She said it was likely the same New Jersey-tagged bear that was roaming around parts of Bucks County earlier this week.

The bear was the second to be put down this week in the Philadelphia suburbs. Like the one in Bensalem, Trewella said, the Horsham bear appeared to have been hit by a car.

"This is not an area that does well by bears," she said.

Horsham Police Chief Bill Daly said the first call about the bear in his Montgomery County town came in at 2 a.m. yesterday. An employee of a Wawa near Easton and County Line roads saw the bear behind the store and called police.

The bear later was spotted near Hideaway Swim Club off County Line Road, and it eventually made its way to a patch of woods, Daly said. About seven officers spread out over an area the size of two football fields and observed the bear for up to 2 1/2 hours, Daly said. There were no reports of damage.

Daly said the game commission decided to euthanize the bear, which he said was a "last resort."

"Any time a bear is euthanized or destroyed, we take it very seriously," he said.

The average bear in Pennsylvania travels 15 to 20 miles when first leaving its den, while adult male bears have a "home range" of about 25 to 30 miles, said Mark Ternent, the game commission's bear biologist. Bears "do not recognize political boundaries" and their home range can span states.

Ternent said he had no data on the estimated bear population in Bucks and Montgomery counties.

Denise Kent, who lives off Maple Avenue near the swim club, snapped a picture of the bear in her back yard yesterday morning.

Kent, 55, a travel agent, was booking a trip to Alaska for a client when her sister texted her after hearing a report about the bear. And fewer than 30 minutes later, the bear was there - eating food out of a bird feeder it had knocked down.

"We really just believed the bear was going to come see us, and he did," Kent said. "It's been quite an amazing day."


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