The Pittsburgh Mills mall in Frazer experienced a rush of new clientele this weekend: two brown bears in two days.
Unlike a small, 150-pound brown bear that perused electronics at Sears on Saturday night and prompted an evacuation of the mall, a second larger bear was more interested in the area's dining establishments.
Around 11:45 p.m. and about an hour and 45 minutes after the small bear was tranquilized in Sears by wildlife conservation officers, the second 250 to 300 pound bear emerged near the Olive Garden parking lot.
Frazer Officer Tim Christian said he and his fellow officers warned employees outside the Longhorn Steakhouse to leave as the female bear wandered over to the restaurant.
"The second bear was not captured," said Officer Christian, who has spent the last day following the bears through the shopping center.
"The Game Commission officers did not come out last night because the mall had closed and it wasn't a major concern."
But the bear became an issue when it reappeared around 7:45 p.m. Sunday and later stopped on the guardrail in the middle of Route 28.
"It had about 20 to 30 cars backed up because it had tried to cross the roadway," he said.
The bear is "still out and about" after eluding Game Commission officers, who Officer Christian said will likely set up a trap for her Monday.
Thus far, the relationship between the two bears is uncertain.
Both animals are tagged and Officer Christian said the smaller bear crossed counties to arrive at the mall on Saturday. Police hope to identify the larger bear's path once it is captured.neigh_north
First Published July 21, 2012 9:15 PM