As number of bear incidents rise in Pa., Sarah Bloomquist shares video of her own encounter

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Incidents involving black bears are up over the last year in this section of the state, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Southeast Region.

That's something Action News anchor Sarah Bloomquist experienced firsthand.

She shared video of a bear and her cub in the backyard of a home she and her family rented in the Poconos this summer. In fact, it was one of four bear encounters her family had over the past several weeks.

They're hardly alone.

On Wednesday morning, in Stroudsburg, Amy Henderson's daughter spotted a mother bear and three cubs in a tree on her way to school.

"She was getting in the car and the mama growled," Henderson said.

The cubs played on her back deck and visited other neighbors' yards.

"My biggest concern is the bear, or one of the bears, obviously might get hit by a car," said neighbor Brad Seid.

RELATED: Black bear seen running through backyards in Wilmington, Delaware
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A Wilmington resident spotted the elusive bear in his backyard on December 5, 2019. (Credit: Jimmy_Tries/Twitter)



The game commission has taken more reports in incidents including nuisance bear complaints, bear damage reports, bears injured or even killed by cars. This is the time of year when bears become more active. Winter is coming.

"They're stocking up on food so they can make it through the entire winter without eating," said Kathy Uhler, Director of the Pocono Wildlife Education and Rehab Center.

Last Fall, Pennsylvania's hunting season claimed over 4,600 black bears, a new state record. Still, the population remains quite healthy with about 20,000 black bears statewide.

But, Uhler says this year's supply of most foods, including acorns and berries, is low. So bears are approaching homes for food.

She said, "There's food out there. They'll be fine. They'll just have to search wider for it, and our job is to give them space."

Black bears are not typically aggressive but keep clear of them and their cubs.

"You're talking about sows and cubs, and if they sense danger to their cubs, that is the one time you need to be concerned so never move toward the bears. We never feed bears.

There are things you can do to keep the bears away if they're known to show up in your area or if you're visiting areas such as the Delaware Water Gap and the Poconos Mountains. Clean grills, keep trash inside until trash day, and hang bird feeders after Thanksgiving.

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Search continues for elusive black bear in Delaware. Katie Katro reports during Action News at 4pm on December 6, 2019.

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