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Black Bear Spotted In South Allen Tree

Update 2:28 p.m. Monday, October 14: The bear, which was found to have been hit by a car, was removed from the tree with help from Alpha Fire Company Friday evening. Officials released it into the wild Saturday morning at a remote location after finding that it had sustained no injuries, according to a report from WJAC News.

Update 2:54 p.m. Friday, October 11: State College Police confirmed over the phone that the Pennsylvania Game Commission was on the scene and that no buildings have been evacuated or locked.

Original story: Nittany View Apartments residents looked out their window to find that a new neighbor had taken up residence in the tree outside their building Friday morning.

A small black bear was spotted lounging on one of the trees top branches, and a crowd of spectators quickly assembled to watch the animal nap. 

Several police officers and township officials quickly arrived on the scene and closed off the sidewalk. They craned their necks alongside students taking pictures as the unfazed bear scratched its ears, looked around, and rested his head back on the chosen branch.  

“I think he just found his new home,” one onlooker said. 

Police moved the crowd across the street outside the Exon Mobile station on South Allen Street. Patrons pumping gas stopped what they were doing to join the throng. 

The bear remained unconcerned with the crowd of fans, stirred by the unbearable tension of not knowing what the animal would do next and growing beneath the tree as officers paced the sidewalk.

Centre County Game Warden Dan Murray told onlookers that the police department planned to wait for the bear to come down, or tranquilize it if it moved closer to the ground. He said that the bear could be in the tree until dusk.

Bear sightings in State College are not unheard of: as recently as last summer the Centre Daily Times reported that State College Police had responded to one. Spring, however, is usually the prime season for bear sightings in the area as the animals awaken from hibernation. Despite their significant speed, size, and climbing ability, black bears are relatively passive animals. Black bear attacks on humans are rare.

Population estimates suggested that there were 20,000 black bears living in Pennsylvania in 2015. Bears reportedly come into contact with humans most often in the northeastern part of the state, but there is also a sizable black bear population in north central Pennsylvania.

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About the Author

Jim Davidson

Jim is a junior English and history major and the features editor for Onward State. He, like most of the Penn State undergraduate population, is from 'just outside Philadelphia,' and grew up in Spring City, Pennsylvania. He covers a variety of Penn State topics, but spends nine months of every year waiting for the start of soccer season. You can reach him via email at [email protected] or follow him on twitter @messijim.

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