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Black Bear Spotted In Upper Makefield

There is a bear in the area.

The black bear in Upper Makefield.
Credit: Upper Makefield police

A black bear is hanging out in Upper Makefield Township, according to police.

A resident shared a photo with police of the black bear foraging on a property along Lurgan Road Monday afternoon.

“We live in a beautiful area surrounded by nature. Bears do reside in the township and need to be respected,” police said in a Facebook post.

“No reason to fear, and we hope you enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer Upper Makefield,” they added.

In April, a black bear was moving through the township off Lurgan Road and Wrightstown Road.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission said a 2015 estimate placed 20,000 black bears in the state. They are known to be smart, can climb trees and swim, and often weigh around 200 pounds.

The game commission said bear attacks are rare, but they do offer tips for people who may encounter a bear:

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.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is responsible for managing, conserving and protecting all wildlife, and is committed to doing everything possible to keep bear conflicts to a minimum. Regulating harvest to stabilize or reduce bear numbers in problem areas and prohibiting the feeding of bears are measures taken to help alleviate conflicts with bears. If you are having a problem with a bear and have no success using these suggestions, or have been threatened by a bear, please contact the appropriate Game Commission region office.

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for 12 years for both newspaper and online publications. Tom’s reporting has appeared locally, nationally, and internationally across several mediums. He is proud to report on news in the county where he lives and to have created a reliable publication that the community deserves.