MOUNTAIN TOP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WOYU) — The attack was any parents’ nightmare and it happened in a neighborhood where a lot of families live.
The bear attack in the Mountain Top area has many parents in neighboring communities worried for their children’s safety.
Eyewitness News was able to speak with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, which is investigating the case, about safety tips when it comes to these wild animals.
In the heart of a community in Wright Township that locals call “Hart Estates,” an out-of-the-blue bear attack on two young children.
Those who live in the Mountain Top area are used to seeing bears but never imagined they’d attack two of their own.
“There are bears everywhere. Like if I’m out at night and I see a bear it’s not abnormal or seeing bear tracks. So the idea that something happened is definitely crazy,” said Ava Groth, a Mountain Top resident.
During this time of year, bear spottings are even more common and potentially more dangerous.
“Bears can show up anywhere. They’re lazy animals. They’re creatures of habit. And right now, especially with most of the bears just coming out of hibernation, they’re hungry,” said PA Game Commission Information and Education Supervisor Lieutenant Gerald Kapral.
The news has families in the area concerned for the safety of their young ones.
“As a mom and I have a kid, I’m initially scared because I leave my son outside sometimes and I go inside to do something,” said Mountain Top resident Roula Abdulrahman.
“Naturally anyone who has young toddlers, it’s definitely a concern that I think should be addressed by the game commission,” said Gary Roccograndi of Mountain Top.
And it has been, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is investigating the attack and trying to catch the bear that was involved.
Bear attacks may be few and far between, but they do still happen. Pennsylvania Game Commission shares what to do if you find yourself faced with a bear.
“Number one, don’t panic. Try to avoid eye contact and certainly don’t turn around and run because that can trigger again a chase response by the animal,” Lieutenant Kapral explained.
The game commission also recommends making some noise by clapping your hands or yelling to scare the animal away.
But, there are some things you can do to avoid the encounter altogether.
“Think about garbage cans, bird feeders, dumpsters, that kind of thing. Things where they can basically eat unlimited supplies and, you know, they really don’t have to fight so they get the most bang for their buck,” Lieutenant Kapral continued.
If a bear is spotted in your community, the game commission urges you to spread the word to help your neighbors stay safe.