Wildlife police officers are headed to the area of White Clay Creek State Park and the University of Delaware to investigate a recent bear sighting.
A person who saw the bear near his home sent the picture above to Delaware’s Division of Fish & Wildlife.
Earlier this afternoon, University of Delaware Police warned students and others on the Newark campus about a possible black bear sighting.
Police said the bear was reportedly spotted in the area behind Christiana Commons on Laird Campus.
Newark Police are tracking the bear which was seen in the vicinity of Wilbur Street, Cleveland Avenue, the Pomeroy Trail and Creek Road by Papermill Road.
“Black bear populations within our neighboring states of Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have expanded over the past several decades. As a result, we are not surprised to have a bear find its way into Delaware,” Joe Rogerson with the Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Fish & Wildlife said. “It wasn’t a question of if, but when it would happen.”
Late Monday night, a black bear was spotted in Chadds Ford, PA.
Rogerson said that after two reports of black bear sightings in northern New Castle County were called in to police late Tuesday and early Wednesday, evidence of feeding and bear tracks were found in both areas where the bear was spotted.
It’s unclear whether the sightings involve the same bear, or multiple bears.
By nature, black bears tend to shy away from humans. DNREC officials and police said if you see the bear, not to approach it, feed it, shoot at it, or try to get close enough to it to snap a picture. They recommend you back away slowly, go inside and wait for the bear to leave. Once inside, call the Division of Fish & Wildlife to report the sighting at 800-523-3336.
“This time of year, male bears are known to roam widely, but if given the opportunity, we will attempt to live-capture the bear and transport it to more suitable habitat out of state within the bear’s normal range,” Wildlife Administrator Rob Hossler, Division of Fish & Wildlife said. “Sightings from the general public will help us track its movements and enable us to respond accordingly.”