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Bear sightings on the rise

Folks have been seeing what seems like more bear sighting than in recent years. Newswatch 16 reached out to some experts to why that's the case.

MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — There’s been another bear sighting in a residential area, this time in the Poconos.

So, we wanted to know, what's the deal with all the bears invading our yards?

Brian Ptashinski says he got some surprise visitors at his home near Jim Thorpe Thursday afternoon.

“The bears were right where I'm standing. They were about right here,” said Ptashinski, Penn Forest Township.

Two bears standing face to face on their hind legs in his driveway.
Ptashinski snapped these pictures before the bears left.

“The two them were on their hind legs, looked like they were dancing, seriously, I got the pictures,” said Ptashinski.

Around the corner, Tim O'Brien says he had a bear walk him while he was having coffee on his front porch.

“There's this 300-pound cub walks right past the first three steps, turns around and look at me and goes,” said O’Brien, “And just keeps on going.”

Kathy Uhler is the director of the Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center near Stroudsburg.

She says bear sightings happen frequently in June and July.
Those are last year's cubs who are seeking their own place after leaving their mothers.

“All of the older bears have all good territory so they're pushed out into the fringes. and those fringes include suburbs and cities,” said Uhler.

But bear encounters can get dangerous.

Surveillance video from a home in carbon county taken earlier this week shows a bear with her cub in the yard.

Three dogs were let out of their home and after one runs at her, she attacked two of them, injuring them.

Uhler says that bear was protecting herself and her cub.

“They give a swipe and then they leave. it's like leave me alone,” said Uhler, demonstrating a bear swiping.

Uhler says to avoid drawing bears to your home, don't leave food outside.
That includes putting garbage out the night before pick up.

“If not then they should get a bear-proof garbage can and they can buy those online,” said Uhler.

Uhler says if you end up near a bear, do not run.

Just walk away and the bear should leave you alone.

Oh, and never confront or feed a bear.

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