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Shaler Police Issue Public Warning After Bear Cub Sightings

SHALER (KDKA) – Police in Shaler Township have issued a warning after some recent bear sightings in the area.

According to police, a bear cub was spotted near Route 8 and Mt. Royal Boulevard Tuesday morning.

We all have our morning routines, but for Dawn Rice it was anything but routine after she let her dog, Mason, out into the backyard.

"It had to be for a few seconds because i turned and walked away from the dog and started making coffee, and I heard him bark so I wanted to make sure he wasn't barking at the neighbors," said Rice.

But the object of Mason's objections was a black bear.

"Came out and saw it climbing up into the tree, so I hurried up and got him inside," Rice said.

A closer examination of the tree and the claw marks are evident.

"He was already up but clambering his way further up, trying to get high… when I saw him," said Rice. "Getting away from the dog, I assume."

She says the dog and bear were about the same size, but the bear was a lot wider.

"I mean he's only about 80 pounds; I'll bet it was double his weight," Rice said.

Rice's call to police comes just a couple days after a bear was seen in Etna, and a bear was sighted near Shaler High School, too.

Someone also snapped a photo of a bear at Parkwood Presbyterian Monday night, not far from Rice's home.

Conservation Officer Tom Kline listened to Rice's story and told her it's probably a one and done thing.

"We've had sightings in McCandless, or as far north as Cranberry," said Officer Kline. "It's that time of year where yearlings are getting booted out of their den and they are going to travel and find their own territory, so they are traveling through this corridor here."

As long as the bear is traveling, Officer Kline says there's no reason to set up a trap like they used in Monroeville. He says a sighting is not an issue as long as the bear isn't given a reason to stick around like accessible garbage or open food-caked grills.

"We'd like the bear to be on its way and avoid all conflicts with humans and animals," says Officer Kline.

On Monday, a mother bear and her cub were spotted in a parking lot on Pleasant Valley Road in Trafford, Westmoreland County (pictured above).

For more information on bear safety, visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission's website here:

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