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280 Kane St. STE #2
South Williamsport, PA
United States

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What’s Up With All the Bears?

What’s Up With All the Bears?
The tranquilized bear being lowered from the tree on a rope and harness.

In last week’s article, we were catching bass, and this week, we are catching bears. I was on my way home from Muncy trying to come up with a topic for this week’s story when my daughter called and said she just saw a bear go up a tree near the Muncy Hospital. I had

In last week’s article, we were catching bass, and this week, we are catching bears. I was on my way home from Muncy trying to come up with a topic for this week’s story when my daughter called and said she just saw a bear go up a tree near the Muncy Hospital. I had just passed there, so I turned around and went back; sure enough, there was a bear in the tree next to Route 180 just across from the hospital parking lot. Interestingly enough I had just talked with the Muncy police earlier that morning, and they were planning to meet with a game warden to discuss removing some nuisance bears in and around Muncy.

In case you haven’t already seen or heard what happened here’s the scoop. The yearling bear had apparently been hit by a truck near the overpass and made its way down along the road under the highway and up between the main highway and the off-ramp – that’s where my daughter spotted it. Muncy police were on hand, and eventually, game warden Harold Cole arrived and prepared the necessary tranquilizer to immobilize the young bear temporarily. It was also necessary to coordinate the rescue effort with the Muncy Fire Department and a ladder truck soon made its way to a spot on 180 where the ladder could be extended into the tree.

Warden Cole shot the tranquilizer dart into the bear, and after about 10 minutes the bear rested peacefully between several limbs halfway up the tree. After extending the ladder into the tree, Warden Cole was able to secure a harness and rope around the bear, and they began lowering it to the ground. Although it was about two hours from the time the bear was first spotted until everything was finally coordinated and in place, it was only about 20 minutes from the time the bear was tranquilized until it was securely in an enclosed transport unit.

Warden Cole told me that they would evaluate the condition of the bear as a result of being hit by the truck. If they determine the bear is healthy enough, it will be transported and released in another location. The bear appeared to be a yearling of about 100 pounds.

Bears showing up in the Muncy area seem to be more frequent these days. Of course, we all remember what happened this past year when in a very rare occurrence, a bear attacked a woman near her home just outside of Muncy. Last week I had an acquaintance show me a video from a game camera of a large bear climbing over the railing of their porch – they live in Muncy. This past Sunday my wife and I were coming from Williamsport on 180 when about a mile or two from the Muncy exit I spotted a dead bear just off the road, and that’s not the first time I’ve seen a dead bear on that stretch of road. There are probably other communities that are having similar situations occur. We folks who live out in the country are used to bears being around, but why are so many showing up in and around towns and housing developments?

Warden Cole quickly pointed out to me that, “artificial feeding such as bird feeders, compost piles, and even cat and dog food dishes all contribute to bears coming in search of food.” Consider this, the bear that was just captured in this incident according to Ray Kontz of the Muncy Police Dept. was most likely the same bear they had been getting complaints about this past week. According to Kontz, the bear had been eating at bird feeders on Broadway and Quarry Avenue in Muncy earlier this past week, and the day this whole scenario took place that same bear had been spotted at the Glade Run Apartments area.

You may want to bring your bird feeders in for a while.

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