Black bear spotted in suburban Pennsylvania caught in a tree near Clifton Heights, Delaware County


CLIFTON HEIGHTS, Pa. (WPVI) – A young male black bear spotted in three counties ended his journey in a yard in Clifton Heights, Delaware County early Wednesday morning.

“I’ve been there 20 years and there’s never been a bear around,” remarked Mark Fite of Clifton Heights.

The bear was discovered in a tree next to some apartments in the 2000 block of West Baltimore Pike in Clifton Heights around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Neighbor Joshua Switz had just come home from work around 11 p.m.

Witzed says he walked by the tree with the bear in it but didn’t realize it at the time.

“After thinking about it, (I) just walked past this bear, and he was probably just like ‘hello,'” Switz said.

When Adriana Fernandez realized the bear was in the tree outside her upstairs apartment, she began recording as first responders attempted to capture it.

“I came out and they were basically calling his name,” Fernandez laughed.

The bear finally found itself on the ground.

Tranquilized, he lay still as firefighters and police helped keepers carry the bear in a tarp to move it to safety.

“There were probably about 30 cops for this bear, so he was like a celebrity,” Switz said.

Video from the Clifton Heights Fire Company showed crews pulling the tranquilized animal from a tree.

“The bear will be controlled and then released in a less populated area,” the fire company said.

The young male bear had been spotted in Bucks, Montgomery and Delaware counties, causing a stir in every neighborhood he passed.

The bear was first spotted in Doylestown late last week and moved through Montgomery County to reappear Tuesday morning in Lansdowne, Delaware County.

Chopper 6 spotted the bear near the Marple Avenue and Baltimore Avenue bridge in Drexel Hill around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The bear appeared to be traveling along Darby Creek.

At 12:30 p.m. the bear was seen lying down, relaxing in the woods.

During the school day, students and staff at nearby Charles Kelly School were kept inside the building because the bear was spotted so close to campus.
The crews managed to tranquilize the bear once, but then lost track of it.

As the day progressed, the Pennsylvania Game Commission hoped that jelly donuts left inside a large cage would attract the bear.

“We tried to tranquilize him. We put a dart in it and we can’t find him. He could have fallen asleep and squatted on the bait,” Pennsylvania Gaming Commissioner Director Jerry Czech said.

The bear was briefly spotted by Action News crews in Drexel Hill around 11pm, disappearing into the night before eventually being caught.

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