Black bear sighted NW Lancaster City/ Manheim Twp. 8/14/2019

On Wednesday August 14, 2019 at approximately 0655 hrs. Officers from Lancaster Bureau of Police, Platoon C, received a call that a black bear had been sighted in the area of the 800 blk. State St. Earlier this morning, shortly after 0600 hrs., Manheim Twp. Police had received a similar call for a sighting on the 1200 blk. Harrisburg Pike. 

Off. Whitaker and Off. Neidermyer responded to the area of State St. While checking the areas that border Lancaster City/ Manheim Twp. the Officers spotted the bear on Landis Ave. just north of the Lancaster County Day School campus. The bear was last observed westbound toward the wooded area near F&M Baker Campus Athletic Fields. 

PA Game Commission and Game Warden were notified of the sightings and last known locations of the bear. Officers from surrounding jurisdictions (F&M Public Safety, Manheim Twp. Police and East Hempfield Police) were all appraised of the sighting. 

Off. Whitaker managed to snap a photo of the bear on Landis Ave. Media may use the photo with credit to Off. Whitaker. 

The PA Game Commission has valuable information and tips on living in areas that have black bears. You can read about them here: https://www.pgc.pa.gov/Wildlife/WildlifeSpecies/BlackBear/Pages/LivingwithBlackBears.aspx

Specifically from their site: 

What To Do If You Meet A Bear

Bear attacks are extremely rare, especially considering how often people encounter them. In most cases, a bear will detect you first and leave the area long before you'll ever see it. However, if you do meet a bear before it's had time to leave, here are some suggestions. Every bear encounter is different.

Alert the bear — If you see a bear, make some noise to alert the bear of your presence, giving it ample time and space to turn and leave. Avoid being caught up in the excitement of seeing a bear and inadvertently letting the bear get too close before surprising it.

Get back — If you have a close encounter, back away slowly while facing the bear so you always know where the bear is and how its reacting. Wild bears rarely attack people. Slowly backing away diffuses the situation and gives the bear room to flee.

Stay calm — encountering a bear can be startling, but try to remain calm. While moving away, avoid sudden movements and talk to help the bear keep track of your retreat. Don’t turn and run or attempt to climb a tree. Running may prompt the bear to give chase, and climbing a tree could be interpreted as a threat to any cubs that are present since cubs often climb trees when startled. Move toward your camper, house or vehicle if nearby.

Pay attention — Bears will use all of their senses to figure out what you are. If they recognize you as a person, some may stand upright or move closer in their efforts to detect odors in the air currents. Don't consider this a sign of aggression. Once a bear identifies you, it will usually leave. If it begins to slowly approach you, face the bear, wave your arms wildly and shout while continuing to back away. The idea is to intimidate the bear into retreating. Swing a stick, your backpack or whatever is handy if the bear gets close.

If suddenly surprised, some bears may feel threatened and give warning signs that they are uncomfortable. They may clack their jaws together or sway their head; those are signs for you to leave. Some bears have been known to charge to within a few feet when threatened. If this occurs, wave your arms wildly and shout at the bear.

Fight back — Black bear attacks are extremely rare. If a black bear attacks, fight back. Bears have been driven away when people have fought back with rocks, sticks, binoculars and even their bare hands.

Contact Information for the Game Commission can be found on their webpage on the link posted above.