Bears Attack in Luzerne; No Problem in Bucks

Gregory Vellner
Two children attacked by black bear.Photo byBill PennellonUnsplash

HARRISBURH, Pa. – As the Pennsylvania Game Commission began an investigation into a black bear attack that resulted in non-life threatening injuries to two young children playing in the driveway of their home in Luzerne County, authorities assessed matters in Bucks County and issued safety recommendations for residents.

There have been no significant problems thus far with black bears in Bucks, said Travis Lau, Communications Director, state Game Commission.

“But there have been two or three nuisance bear calls in Upper Bucks this year but none in Lower Bucks,” he said. “June is the breeding season for bears, so young males are often on the move.”

Lau’s comments came following the May 23 attack on children ages 5 and 14 months, both of whom were treated for bites and scratches, then released from Wilkes Barre General Hospital.

Two bear traps were set in the area, said Lau, who also said that if a bear is captured DNA tests will be conducted to determine if it is the one involved in the attack. Pennsylvania bears are unlikely to attack, he said.

“But on the rare occasion a bear does attack, there’s often some sort of a trigger -- maybe if the bear is cornered and unable to flee, or if a bear tangles with a dog and the owner becomes involved. When bears come close to houses, it’s often because some sort of food sources is outside the house – birdfeeders, garbage, pet food, etc. – and they’re coming in for a meal. If these food sources aren’t present, bears won’t be coming in to feed and the only reason they’ll come close to a house if they’re just passing by,” said Lau.

If a person encounters a bear, it’s important to let the bear know you’re there by calmly waving or vocalizing, according to Lau.

“Usually the bear will leave,” he said. “But if they stand their ground, they’ll usually give you the opportunity to back out. Don’t run and don’t climb trees, both can be perceived as threats.”

The bear involved in the Luzerne County incident probably isn’t prone to attack, but most likely was set off by what is still an unknown circumstance, said Lau.

“If the bear involved in the attacks is caught, it will be euthanized as a precaution,” he said.

(Euthanize the guilty bear? What do you think? ‘Follow’ for more on this.)

This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program. Join today to publish and share your own content.

Comments / 1

Published by

As a professional journalist for several years -- reporter, editor, feature writer, columnist -- I handled a range of subjects. Breaking news, investigative series, government action, feature events, and staff feature writer with national entertainment magazine interviewing stars including Tom Selleck, Mel Brooks and Danny DeVito. No matter the topic, certain ingredients are key: truth, facts, objectivity, balance.

Bucks County, PA

More from Gregory Vellner

Comments / 0