Game officials capture, relocate 4 black bears

Four black bears that had been roaming suburban Harrisburg have been trapped and relocated, officials with the Pennsylvania Game Commission said today.

Wildlife Conservation Officer Michael Doherty said the bears were all trapped at the same location along the top of Blue Mountain, where a trap was set last month after numerous sightings in the Linglestown Road area of Susquehanna and Lower Paxton townships.

Doherty said the first bear, a young male weighing about 300 pounds, was caught on October 21. A cub weighing around 150 pounds was caught Oct. 30 and its twin was captured the following night.

An adult female was caught Wednesday, but Doherty said someone apparently tampered with the trap and allowed the bear to escape. He said the tampering jeopardized attempts to relocate the mother and two cubs as quickly as possible so that the family could stay together in their new home.

The trap was reset and the adult female was caught the next day, he said.

“We've been trying to trap these bears for quite a while,” Doherty told abc27 News. “We've been moving the trap from here to there, always a day or two behind. But finally we figured out where they were hanging out: right on top of the mountain.”

Doherty said the 375-400 pound female and her two cubs were released on state game lands near Lykens, and the young male was relocated to state game lands near Wiconisco, both in northern Dauphin County.

“In the span of a week and a half, we caught four bears – which is the most number of bears I've ever caught in such a short time in my career,” Doherty said.

He said all the bears were healthy when they were released, and were not tagged or tranquilized to avoid possible human contamination when bear season begins in a few weeks.

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