Bear snagged in Ri­d­ley Creek State Park

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - DAILY TIMES - By Alex Rose arose@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @arosedelco on Twit­ter

A black bear spot­ted in Rad­nor last month has been trapped and re­lo­cated to state game lands in Dauphin County, ac­cord­ing to Justin T. Rit­ter, the Penn­syl­va­nia Game Com­mis­sion’s Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Of­fi­cer for Delaware County.

Rit­ter said in an email an­nounc­ing the move that the bear, which had been liv­ing in Ri­d­ley Creek State Park for a few months, was re­lo­cated for its own safety af­ter it knocked over a res­i­dent’s bee hives.

“The de­ci­sion to trap and re­lo­cate the bear was for the safety and well-be­ing of the bear,” said Rit­ter. “We were afraid that the bear would soon start trav­el­ing out of the park to find other food sources or a mate. We did not want the bear to get hit by a ve­hi­cle.”

Rit­ter said the bear was not a threat to the pub­lic, though it did cause two ele­men­tary schools to close down last month af­ter it was spot­ted in the area. Ithan Ele­men­tary School in the Bryn Mawr sec­tion of Rad­nor and the Academy of Notre Dame in Vil­lanova both ini­ti­ated lock­down pro­to­cols, and the bear re­port­edly charged at Rad­nor mo­tor­cy­cle of­fi­cer Lt. Christo­pher Flanagan, forc­ing him to aban­don his bike and high-tail it for the school.

The in­ci­dent also prompted a “Rad­nor Black Bear” Twit­ter ac­count with the tagline, “Will some­one please help me get back to the woods?!” At last count, the bear had 204 fol­low­ers on Twit­ter.

Rit­ter said Ri­d­ley Creek State Park rangers helped pin­point the bear’s lo­ca­tion by mon­i­tor­ing re­ports of bear sight­ings through­out the park. He was lured by dough­nuts, maple syrup and honey, and was safely trapped within six hours.

The bear was tran­quil­ized, mea­sured, sexed, tagged, and a tooth was ex­tracted to de­ter­mine his age, said Rit­ter. The 210-pound male is es­ti­mated to be 3 years old, but Rit­ter said the ex­act age will not be de­ter­mined un­til the tooth is pro­cessed.

Deputy Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Of­fi­cer Wil­liam Cosenza helped with the trap­ping and trans­port­ing of the bear, and Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Of­fi­cer Scott Fred­er­ick of Dauphin County helped with pro­cess­ing and re­lease of the bear into 11,000 acres of state game lands.

“The trap­ping, pro­cess­ing, and re­lease of the bear was very quick and suc­cess­ful with no harm to the bear,” said Rit­ter.

Black bear num­bers in the state have grown from about 4,000 in the 1970s to around 18,000 to­day, ac­cord­ing the Penn­syl­va­nia Game Com­mis­sion, al­low­ing for an ex­tended hunt­ing sea­son and in­creased in­ter­ac­tions with hu­mans.


A black bear wan­ders near a trap in Ri­d­ley Creek State Park. The bear was trapped and then re­leased up­state. It was not harmed in the process.

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