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Bear Cub Takes Walk On The Wild Side In Pittsburgh Mills Mall's Sears

FRAZER TOWNSHIP (KDKA) -- It was a wild night at the Pittsburgh Mills Mall.

A black bear cub somehow got inside. It was found roaming around the Sears store, and sent customers running for safety.

It was right before 9 p.m. when a 120-pound female black bear cub was spotted inside the Sears. And as you can imagine, the sight for people inside was frightening.

"He came right up by her foot and growled," said Tracy Paradise, who saw the animal inside. "She about had a heart attack."

Customers inside at the time credit store employees for quick thinking to get everyone out safely.

"They get on the speaker and they're telling us to like go towards a certain exit in the store, and it was weird. And then, he came on again and they said a few different things. The voice seemed calm but slightly panicked," said Michelle Eckert, who was also in the store at the time. "And then, as we're walking casually - there's like a group of us - and as we got to the exit, the one employee says, 'there's a bear!' And we all look at each other, and we just run out."

In addition to Sears, the entire mall was evacuated while wildlife conservation officers shot the bear with a tranquilizer gun. At one point they had it trapped between the double doors.

But before the drugs could set in, the little bear got back into the store. It eventually fell asleep and was taken away by conservation officers at 10 p.m.

Even animal experts say they've never seen this particular situation before.

"Not in my area here and not in Pennsylvania," said Dan Puhala, a wildlife conservation officer. "I've heard of deer having incidents like this, but not a bear."

No injuries were reported.

Meanwhile, officials say it may never be known exactly how the bear got into the store, but it did have a collar on, which means it may have been part of some sort of research.

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