A black bear was in a tree outside the Buffalo Wild Wings along Route 19 in Cranberry for close to two hours Thursday evening.
Cranberry Police began monitoring the bear’s movements at about 9:30 p.m. after they were notified the bear was in the parking lot. The bear wasn’t budging from the tree.
Residents were asked to steer clear of the area.
Police said the Pennsylvania Game Commission was notified the bear is in the area, but game commission officers were not expected to respond to the restaurant.
Police said they would remain at the parking lot until the bear leaves the area.
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The bear attracted a crowd 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 declined to give his name, who was in the restaurant estimated the bear weighs 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 earlier Thursday evening on Executive Drive in Cranberry near the post office, police said.
A bear, or bears, also were seen in the area in the spring, which is prime bear-mating season.
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, it is not unusual to see bears at that time because the female bears are saying goodbye to their cubs. The young bears, who may not know yet to fear people, often roam the area looking for food.
Cranberry Police Sgt. Chuck Mascellino said at the time that officers usually don’t interfere with the bears unless they pose a hazard to residents or are causing damage to property.
Police advise anyone who spots a bear to simply stay away from it, he said.
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