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May 04, 2022

Black bear's capture in Clifton Heights yard recorded on video

The animal was tracked down Tuesday and will be released in a less populated area

Wildlife Bears
Black Bear Delco Clifton Clifton Heights Fire Co./Facebook

The black bear that was spotted in Delaware County on Tuesday was captured overnight in Clifton Heights, authorities said. The animal will be released in a less populated area.

A black bear that had been spotted roaming through Delaware County in recent days was captured Tuesday night in Clifton Heights, where firefighters and police officers worked with game wardens to corral the animal after sedating it.

The Clifton Heights Fire Co. posted a nearly six-minute video on Facebook that shows the bear in a tree in a yard along West Baltimore Pike. A tranquilizer dart can be seen in the bear's back as game wardens waited for it to take effect. After the bear returned to the ground, it was placed in a tarp and seven men loaded the animal into a specialize transportation cage hitched to the back of a car.

Authorities said the bear will be checked out and then released in a less populated area.

CHFC assisted Clifton Heights Borough Police Department and state game wardens with the successful capture of the bear. The bear was located in the tree of a residential property on the 200 block of West Baltimore Pike. The bear will be checked and then released in a less populated area.

Posted by Clifton Heights Fire Company on Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Earlier Tuesday, Upper Darby police had notified the public that the bear had been spotted in wooded areas of Lansdowne and Clifton Heights. People were advised to stay away from Kent Park and other areas along Darby Creek, where traps were set to try capture the bear.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission eventually hit the bear with a tranquilizer in the area of the Big Lots store in Clifton Heights, but the animal ran away. It wasn't until nightfall that the animal was tracked down and crews were able to get in position to capture it overnight.

The incident comes after a black bear was spotted over the weekend in Plymouth Meeting, Montgomery County. Authorities issued a public alert, but no updates were provided on whether that bear was captured.

Bear sightings have become increasingly common in Southeastern Pennsylvania, especially during the spring and summer months as the animals forage for food and look to mate in expanding territories. They have been spotted in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware and Chester County in recent years. The prevalence of cameras also has contributed to greater awareness of their presence.

Although instances of black bears attacking people are rare, the animals can still be dangerous. The Game Commission has some tips to help residents keep the creatures out of their neighborhoods.

People are advised to stay away from black bears and reminded that intentionally feeding them is illegal in Pennsylvania. When bears are fed, they become more comfortable with humans, which means they are more likely to be euthanized for public safety than released into the wild when caught.

The game commission recommends that people wait to put trash out until the morning of collection and regularly clean garbage cans with bleach, especially if bears have become more common in surrounding areas.

It's also a good idea to bring trash, bird feeders and pet food inside at night and to avoid placing food out for other wildlife.