A bear-y unique vis­i­tor

‘Dela Bear’ cap­ti­vates Ne­wark­ers

Newark Post - - Front Page - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­non@ches­pub.com

The black bear that cap­ti­vated Ne­wark­ers last week is con­tin­u­ing to head west in Mary­land.

As of Wed­nes­day, the an­i­mal – which has been dubbed “Dela Bear” and even has its own Twit­ter ac­count – was last seen near Aberdeen Prov­ing Ground, au­thor­i­ties said.

The first re­port of a bear in Delaware came May 17 in the Ram­sey Ridge neigh­bor­hood of Hockessin, ac­cord­ing to New Cas­tle County Po­lice. It was seen again the fol­low­ing morn­ing in the Wood Creek neigh­bor­hood of Pike Creek.

By May 19, the bear had mi­grated to Ne­wark, and mid­day sight­ings in a stu­dent-heavy part of town prompted a flurry of 911 calls and drew dozens of cu­ri­ous on­look­ers to the banks of the White Clay Creek.

Cpl. James Spadola, a spokesman for the Ne­wark Po­lice Depart­ment, said cit­i­zens spot­ted the bear near Pa­per Mill Road around 1 p.m., and it then trav­eled through back­yards on Cleve­land Av­enue to­ward Ker­shaw Street. It was also spot­ted on White Clay Drive.

Lt. Brian Pol­lock, of DNREC Fish and Wildlife Nat­u­ral Re­sources Po­lice, said he per­son­ally saw the bear play­ing in White Clay Creek near Ti­mothy’s, lo­cated at 100 Creek View Road off Pa­per Mill Road. It then headed up­stream, he added.

The city of Ne­wark sent a text mes­sage alert to res­i­dents about the sight­ing and ad­vised them not to ap­proach the bear. Around the same time, NPD and DNREC of­fi­cers were on scene track­ing the an­i­mal along White Clay Creek.

“We will let it be. It’s try­ing to get back to where it came from. We don’t want to keep push­ing it,” Pol­lock said while con­gre­gat­ing with other of­fi­cers in Cur­tis Mill Park, adding that of­fi­cials don’t want to pres­sure the bear to wan­der into res- iden­tial ar­eas.

Sgt. John McDerby, of Nat­u­ral Re­sources Po­lice, said May 19 his agency was hop­ing the bear con­tin­ued through White Clay Creek State Park and into Penn­syl­va­nia, where it is as­sumed to have come from.

“It’s a good cor­ri­dor for the bear to safely avoid hu­man con­tact and get out of Delaware,” McDerby said “It was prob­a­bly get­ting stressed out with all the ac­tiv­ity down in Ne­wark.”

How­ever, it ap­pears the bear did not con­tinue into Penn­syl­va­nia.

McDerby said more sight­ings were re­ported late May 19 in the area of Ray Street. The bear was also seen near the Not­ting­ham Green neigh­bor­hood, ac­cord­ing to City Man­ager Carol Houck.

The fol­low­ing day, Fri­day, May 20, the Ce­cil County Sher­iff’s Of­fice sent an alert to res­i­dents stat­ing that the bear was seen at ap­prox­i­mately 8 p.m. near the in­ter­sec­tion of Route 213 and Rick­etts Mill Road, north of Elkton. That lo­ca­tion is ap­prox­i­mately 6 miles south­west of the sight­ings in Ne­wark.

The sher­iff’s of­fice also posted a video shot by a cit- izen of the bear ex­plor­ing a wooded area near a road.

“It’s not be­ing ag­gres­sive, so we’re not go­ing to do any­thing,” said Lt. Michael Holmes, spokesman for the Ce­cil County Sher­iff’s Of­fice. “Deputies and Elkton po­lice got a vis­ual. He went back into the wood line.”

By Sun­day, the bear had reached Per­ryville, a small Susque­hanna River town lo­cated ap­prox­i­mately 20 miles south­west of Ne­wark.

Of­fi­cials be­lieve the sight­ings are all the same bear, but cau­tioned there is no way to be sure. Bear sight­ings in Penn­syl­va­nia ear­lier last week are likely re­lated, as well.

McDerby said this is the first known in­stance of a bear in Delaware since “Colo­nial times,” but added that it was not en­tirely un­ex­pected.

“Over the last 10 years, they have slowly got­ten closer to our area,” he said. “It wasn’t a ques­tion of if, but when.”

Re­porters Karie Sim­mons and Jane Bellmyer con­trib­uted to this ar­ti­cle.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.