Large black bear captured near Leola

(Janet Zimmerman/Pennsylvania Game Commission)


LEOLA, Pa. (WHTM) – A wildlife conservation officer says it took four darts to tranquilize a large black bear that wandered into a Lancaster County neighborhood.

Wildlife Conservation Officer Greg Graham said the estimated 550-pound boar climbed into a tree after a woman and her grandchildren spotted it Thursday morning in the 100 block of Hess Road in Leola. The woman called East Lampeter Township police, who responded and called the Game Commission.

Graham sent another conservation officer to keep watch over the bear while he went for a trap. He said the other officer put one tranquilizer dart into the bear before he got to the home and two more after he arrived.

The officers then gently pushed the bear out of the tree with long sticks, but the big bruin stood up, began stumbling, and tried to climb over a fence. Graham said it took a fourth dart to put the bear to sleep and eight people to drag it on a tarp to the trap.

(Janet Zimmerman/Pennsylvania Game Commission)

The bear was released north of Harrisburg, in the Stoney Valley area of State Game Lands 211.

Graham estimated the bear to be up to 15 years old. Tags showed it had been captured just a month ago, on May 20, after it broke into a garage in northern Adams County and ate a five-gallon jug of sunflower seeds.

He was relocated to northern Perry County after that incident but journeyed more than 50 miles to reach the Leola area.

Graham said conservation officers rarely see anything older than a yearling in Lancaster County. He said the last time he saw a big bear was about 15 years ago.

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