Game Commission: Black Bear Sightings North of Pittsburgh On The Rise

Monday night's visit by a 250 pound black bear in North Park was not as rare as it used to be.

A black bear that disrupted a cub scout meeting in  Monday night is presumably roaming the woods of Indiana County now—but his visit is a sign of a growing trend.

"This year, we've had a few bears in northern Allegheny County, and their population is expanding. They are getting into more non-traditional areas, such as North Park," said Tom Fazi, information and education supervisor of the southwest region of the Pennsylvania Game Commission

"They have easy access, since most of the rivers and streams in this area are underdeveloped. Those river hillsides are like a highway for wildlife," he said.

In May, a bear—or possibly bears— Bear sightings were reported in the Woodbine neighborhood off Powell Road and in

A grassy area in front of the in the Cranberry Business Park on Unionville Road also was taped off with signs warning people of a bear in the area while the owners of the on Route 228 reported seeing a bear about 50 yards from the building.

After tracking the bear Monday night in North Park, wildlife conservation officer Dan Puhala  in a yard off of Pioneer Road. 

The bear was tagged in Wexford, and then driven to state game lands in Indiana County, where it was released Tuesday morning.

Several people took pictures of the bear, including Tim Webb, who posted his photo on twitter.

The Game Commission, aware of the growing bear population, has expanded the hunting season in Allegheny County. 

“We’re hoping these extended hunting seasons will keep the bears out of the areas we don’t want them, like North Park,” said Fazi. “The bear was tagged, and should he return, we will take him farther away.” 

But Fazi said if a bear repeatedly returns to the same area, or becomes aggressive, it would be euthanized.

The bear caught in North Park had no tag, which means—at least to the Game Commission—he was a first time visitor.

Have you spotted any bears in the area? Thoughts on the North Park bear? Tell us in the comment section.


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