As the summer months roll on and people spend more time outside in the warm weather, the likelihood of encountering local wildlife increases.
But local bear sightings in Mount Holly Springs have some residents concerned.
“Bears tend to cause quite a stir when they show up in places where they typically aren’t seen,” Pennsylvania Game Commission spokesman Travis Lau said.
A Mount Holly resident reported seeing a young bear on July 3, and another this past Saturday.
While Lau said most bears seen in residential areas are just passing through, there appears to be a growing population that has made a home in the Mount Holly Springs area.
Lau said that while it is possible for an encounter with a bear to become dangerous, it is rare for a person to be injured by a bear in the state.
“This is the busy time of year for bear activity,” Lau said, noting that bears are in their breeding season, and this time of year is when young bears begin to travel out on their own.
If there are reported bear sightings in an area, Lau said there are things residents can do to reduce their chance of an encounter.
First, remove any food from outside that may be attracting the bear to the area.
This can include removing bird feeders, bringing gas grills inside and waiting until the day trash is picked up to place bins outside.
Residents with dogs should take extra precaution when taking their four-legged friend outside.
“Bears and dogs usually don’t get along,” Lau said.
Lau said an encounter between a bear and dog can happen rather quickly and without much notice, or ability for intervention, by the owner.
If an incident occurs ”the bear is usually going to win,” Lau said.