A baby black bear’s romp through Northeast Philly ended in dreamland atop an Abington Township tree as a wildlife conservation officer shot him with a tranquilizer and captured him last Wednesday. The plan is to release the beast into the wild upstate. Residents in the Fox Chase area were placed on alert for a couple of days after passers-by and a local merchant spotted the bear roaming Pennypack Park on May 12 and 13.
According to Chuck Tucker, a volunteer with the Friends of Pennypack Park, members of the group’s trees and trails committee were finishing up work shortly before noon on May 12 when a couple arrived at the Pennypack Environmental Center to report seeing the bear nearby. Tucker was skeptical, but went to investigate and warned park users to be careful.
On Tuesday, the owner of Chubby’s Fox Chase Deli, at 537 Hoffnagle St., crossed paths with the furry fugitive near Pine Road and Shady Lane while making a delivery of hoagie trays. Hafuz “Foose” Tahiraj photographed the bear as it navigated a fallen tree trunk.
By last Wednesday at about 7:30 p.m., the bear had wandered into Montgomery County, where an Abington Township family saw him in their yard, feasting on the contents of a garbage can. The couple reportedly grabbed their four children and called 911.
Authorities went to the home on the 900 block of Meetinghouse Road, surrounded the animal and shot it with a tranquilizer. The bear climbed a tree and passed out there as game officials waited below for several hours. Finally, the bear fell from the tree, allowing authorities to safely remove him from the yard. The bear was about 1-1/2 years old and weighed 150 pounds, according to published reports. ••