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Officials Investigating Mt. Lebanon Bear Sighting

MOUNT LEBANON (KDKA) – Officials are investigating a reported bear sighting in Mt. Lebanon.

A black bear was seen leaving Mt. Lebanon and Castle Shannon, headed into Bethel Park. A Mt. Lebanon Police dash cam captured the bear running across the road.

"The animal's running through back yards," said Mt. Lebanon Police Chief Aaron Lauth. "Nobody saw it stationary, just sitting there."

The state game commission was notified.

"They are looking for food and they're looking for new territory," said Gary Fujak with the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

In this bear's case, his foraging took him into Bethel Park and Regina Sewall's backyard. What she was a bunch of police.

"They gathered in the turnaround at the end of our street and they were talking and all of a sudden they pointed and said, 'there it is!'" she said. "And I had no idea what they were talking about."

The game commission says it will take reports and track the bear, but it's impossible to trap a moving target.

"If he takes up residence in one of our communities, we'll set the trap and try to catch him and tag him and move him at least 100 miles away from Pittsburgh," Fujak said.

No traps have been set, but police suspect it may be the same bear that was spotted in Moon last week.

The game commission says if you see the bear, give it a wide berth and let it continue on its way.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review also reports that a Derry Township man has been angered by a hungry black bear that's stealing his honey.

Dave Atkins keeps bees as a hobby and he tells the newspaper that the bear broke into his garage and stole honey combs he was storing inside.

He says he thinks the bear has stolen his honey and hives several times before.

Fujak joined John Shumway on the KDKA Morning News Tuesday to talk about the bear sighting, as well as rabid raccoons in the area.

If you see a black bear in your area, Fujak says, "Just watch it, get pictures and video because it doesn't happen every day so consider yourself lucky."

He adds, "Give it room to move. It's non aggressive, it doesn't care about people. It's just looking for new territory."

He does add that you should still stay away and call the authorities.

You may be surprised but a lot of people find baby raccoons are cute and cuddly. But Fujak says to stay away from them, one has already tested positive for rabies in Allegheny County.

He says between the bear and raccoon, "I would say people should be more afraid of the raccoon because of that potential for rabies."

Game Commission Officer Fujak On Black Bear Sighting and Rabid Raccoons

FILE (Photo Credit: Sharon Lasky)


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