• Officials try to capture 2nd bear spotted near Pittsburgh Mills mall


    PITTSBURGH - Officials said a second bear was spotted near Pittsburgh Mills mall, where another bear was captured after getting stuck inside a department store Saturday night.

    The latest bear first emerged near an Olive Garden restaurant in Frazer around 11:45 p.m. Saturday. That was less than two hours after officials tranquilized a smaller bear that had gotten inside a Sears store. The mall was evacuated after the 200-pound bear wandered into an entrance vestibule.

    Officials said the second bear was not captured and then reappeared around 7:45 p.m. Sunday, backing up traffic on a nearby highway. The bear also appeared Monday just before 7 a.m. near the Smokey Bones restaurant.

    State wildlife officials said they directed the 300-pound bear away from the restaurant and into a nearby wooded area. They also set up a trap to try to catch the animal.

    Wildlife Conservation Officer Matt Kramer said a trap set up with doughnuts should eventually lure the bear.

    "Doughnuts are the sweetest thing we could find. If it smells sweet, the bear is going to want to get in there," Kramer said.

    John Murry and his wife went to Pittsburgh Mills Monday hoping to find the bear, and they did.

    "I heard about the bear in Sears and I heard they saw another one yesterday. I thought it would be cool to see a bear," Murry said. "It was just moseying along without a care in the world. It was big, I was close enough to my car that I was getting back in it if it came after me."

    Other shoppers were talking about the bears as well on Monday.

    "We've had bears around here before but never in the buildings, so it's a little crazy," shopper Jessica Chambers said. "It makes you a little nervous. I suppose that there could be a bear just approaching you right now."

    Wildlife officers and Sears employees stood at the store's entrance doors for two hours Saturday night to try and keep the first bear contained in the area.

    "At one point they got the bear to the corner of the store," Michelle Eckert told WPXI reporter Brandon Hudson. (The bear) was close to the double doors. They had their guns out like this and they're getting ready to point it. There was another cop and he was getting ready to shoot it. We were by the double doors (when) they said run out into the parking lot."

    The bear was eventually captured and released in another area.

    Mall officials said in response to the recent sightings, they've increased exterior patrols as a precaution to keep shoppers safe.

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