Bear spotted in several Brighton Township neighborhoods

NEW BRIGHTON, Pa. — Brighton Township residents have been seeing an unexpected visitor quite frequently throughout the month of May.

“I’ve had a bird feeder up for 40 years — never had a bear,” said Mike Durham, who lives in Brighton Township.

But that all changed earlier this month when Durham and other neighbors spotted a bear, many of them posting videos and pictures in an online community forum. Durham was out of state visiting his daughter when he got an alert about activity in the middle of the night outside his home on Crandon Circle.

“It looked like a deer was eating the bird seed out of my feeder,” Durham said. “My pole was bent over like that, my feeder camera was on the ground, and it had to be a bear. He stole one of my feeders that I paid $125 for.”

Channel 11 spoke with a woman who didn’t want to speak on camera but said she was taking out the trash last week when she heard what she thought was a raccoon. She looked over, saw the bear in her front yard and watched it run down the driveway.

“The bear was eating the trash, so that was close. He was in our neighborhood enjoying himself,” Durham said.

When it comes to nuisance bears, the Pennsylvania Game Commission said residential damage is one of the most common complaints it receives. If you spot a bear in your neighborhood, residents are advised to remove attractants like bird feeders and unsecured garbage and try to prevent bears from being rewarded with food.

Durham said he’d like to see the bear get trapped and taken elsewhere in a safe and humane manner.

“I have a four-and-a-half pound shih-tzu at home. When I go out now, I take a flashlight with me and check the ground because you never know,” Durham said.

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