Why did a 200-pound black bear cross busy Route 19 in Cranberry?
To get to the of course.
After spending close to two hours in a tree outside the Buffalo Wild Wings Thursday evening, Cranberry Police said the bear ambled across Route 19 and went behind the fast-food restaurant.
The bear was last spotted heading towards the woods near Interstate 79, Public Safety Director Jeff Schueler said.
Police were called to the Buffalo Wild Wings at about 9:30 p.m. after someone spotted the bear in the parking lot, he said. When officers arrived at the restaurant, the bear already was in the tree.
Officers monitored the bear’s movements until it climbed down from the branches at about 11:20 p.m. In the meantime, residents were asked to steer clear of the area.
Although the Pennsylvania Game Commission was notified the bear was in the area, Schueler said game commission officers typically do not respond to bear sightings unless the animal is aggressive or posing a threat to others.
The bear in the tree attracted a number of onlookers Thursday who were inside the Buffalo Wild Wings eating when they learned the bear was just outside.
“I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I have to go see it,' ” said Chelsea Kaclik, who admitted she thought it was a joke when she first heard a bear was in a nearby tree.
An off-duty game commission officer who was in the restaurant but declined to give his name estimated the bear weighed about 200 pounds.
It is unusual to spot a bear walking around during the winter months, he said. Typically, the bears are in hibernation.
“Someone must have woke him up,” he said. “Right now, they’re usually sleeping.”
The bear also was spotted at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday on Executive Drive in Cranberry near the post office, Schueler said.
While the bear is in the area, he advised residents to bring any food, including bird seed and pet food, inside during the evening hours. The food is attractive to bears, he said.
“If you have animals you’ve been feeding outside, you may want to bring the food in,” he said.
He also recommended residents make sure their garbage can lids are secure.
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