Pittsburgh Mills evacuated after bear spotted in Sears

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A bear roaming inside a Sears store prompted the evacuation of the Pittsburgh Mills mall in Frazer on Saturday night.

Officials said the black female bear walked into the store shortly before 9 p.m.

Wildlife Conservation Officer Dan Puhala said the bear, estimated to be in her teens, was eventually lured toward the automatic entrance/exit doors, where officers trapped her between the double doors and shot her twice with a tranquilizer gun. The bear was eventually wheeled out of the store at 9:55 p.m.

No injuries were reported.

Witnesses said the bear had been spotted at the nearby Walmart around 3 p.m. and was later seen running from the J.C. Penney store to Sears at 5 p.m. Also, local police had spotted the bear in woods surrounding the mall days earlier, Officer Puhala said.

He said the bear had been tagged and collared, meaning she was part of the state Game Commission's urban research program, which tracks bears.

region - neigh_north

Deborah M. Todd: dtodd@post-gazette.com.


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