Philadelphia, PA – For residents of Pennsylvania, seeing a black bear in their backyard or crossing the road is becoming increasingly common. The black bear, Ursus americanus, is among the state's most secretive and largest animals. With a population of around 20,000 in 2015, black bears are now present in 50 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties.
Pennsylvania Residents Get Up Close and Personal with Black Bears
Pennsylvania's mountainous north-central and northeastern counties are the ideal places to see bears. However, they have also adapted well to suburban settings. They may be seen scavenging for food in dumpsters at rest stops, restaurants, campgrounds, and even garbage cans at homes.
Black bears have diverse life cycles, denning times, tolerance of human activities, habitat preferences, movement patterns, reproduction behavior, pelt colors, and even height and weight, depending on where they live. They can run up to 35 mph and live up to 25 years in the wild.
Pennsylvania residents need to take precautions to stay safe when encountering these animals. The Pennsylvania Game Commission has provided resources on how to coexist with these animals safely.
For more information about black bear safety tips or other wildlife resources, visit www.pgc.pa.gov or contact your local Game Commission office.