June 12, 2019
The string of black bear sightings in Southeastern Pennsylvania continued Wednesday in East Falls, where a bear was spotted on the SEPTA tracks of the Manayunk/Norristown Line.
The bear was observed around 11:20 a.m. by a CBS Philly's Chopper 3 helicopter, which got some aerial photos.
Chopper 3 was over the train tracks just west of the East Falls SEPTA Station around 11:20 a.m. when they spotted the bear. Details: https://t.co/moMJEB66tf pic.twitter.com/QkUEgrLYOi— CBS Philly (@CBSPhilly) June 12, 2019
#BREAKING A bear has been walking along the @SEPTA train tracks in East Falls. @PhillyPolice are in the area warning residents. Trains are still running but going slow through the area. @CBSPhilly @PPD39Dist https://t.co/vEqu8zJZ1E pic.twitter.com/M96psGJr4a— Stephen McKenzie (@SteveMcKCBS3) June 12, 2019
Phila police and SEPTA transit police are using a drone to try to spot the bear.@KYWNewsradio pic.twitter.com/ZD3wn9biHi— Mark Abrams (@MAbramsKYW1060) June 12, 2019
Philadelphia police warned residents of the bear's presence in the area and are continuing to investigate. They seem to be in good spirits about their efforts — and they want your help!
Should you report bear sightings to 911? Does a bear poop in the [East Falls] woods?! Please help the authorities return Yogi to an area where there are less train tracks, and more pic-a-nic baskets. pic.twitter.com/czWHtY7R2m— Philadelphia Police (@PhillyPolice) June 12, 2019
A user on the public safety app Citizen posted video of authorities' searching for the bear and indicating the initial sighting had been in the vicinity of the 3700 block of West School House Lane. Two helicopters are flying overhead to help locate the bear.
The feed that accompanied the video stated police officers have been advised "not to take aggressive action against the bear," and if possible, police were instructed to attempt to "chase the bear up a tree."
The sighting comes after a black bear was seen last weekend in residential parts of Warrington, Bucks County. It was spotted Monday in Oreland and again Tuesday in Wyndmoor. Pennsylvania Game Commission wardens were unable to successfully capture the bear and relocate it to a suitable habitat. It's not clear whether the East Falls bear is the same as the one seen in Bucks and Montgomery counties.
Bear populations have increasingly spread into Southeastern Pennsylvania over the last several years as opportunities to find food and mates expand.
One black bear spent several months on the loose in Delaware County in 2016 before it was eventually captured in Radnor and shipped off to start a new life in Dauphin County.
Other wildlife sightings in the area have included numerous coyotes in the western and northern neighborhoods and suburbs of Philadelphia, as well as in the city, in recent years.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission offers the following safety tips for bear sightings.
• Don’t put trash out until the morning of collection
• Clean garbage cans regularly using bleach
• Clean your outdoor grill, properly dispose of grill grease and bring bird feeders in at night
• Store trash, bird seed and pet food inside a building, garage or secure shed
• Bring pet food in at night
• Don’t place food out for other wildlife (Be aware that intentionally feeding bears is against the law in Pennsylvania.)