UPDATE: Reports indicate that the bear has been captured. KDKA is waiting for further details.
Original Story Below:
KITTANNING (KDKA) – The Pennsylvania Game Commission is working to catch a sickly-looking bear in Armstrong County, and warning residents in the area who see it stay away.
According to residents, the bear has been spotted on Valley View Drive in Kittanning recently.
When the bear entered the yard of Cheri and Rick Kulbacki, the couple knew right away that something was wrong.
“He looks sickly and hungry,” said Cheri.
The bear has visited their backyard three times. It got so close at one point they had to chase it away.
“I opened the door and shooed it away, and it ran away the first time, but the second time, it was looking at me down by the shed and it couldn’t care less that I was there really,” said Rick.
Officials say it appears the bear has mange, which means parasites are causing it to lose its hair, which can be itchy and painful, and it can spread to others.
“It’s contagious, not only to other bears, but to people, too,” said Pennsylvania Game Commission Officer Rodney Burns.
The Game Commission set up a trap to catch the mangy bear. They put donuts inside — the lure for a hungry animal.
“Bears think with their stomach, and a sick bear really thinks with its stomach, so if it will get these bird feeders, I can certainly get it with a bunch of pastries,” said Burns.
Bears with mange can be treated and recover, but if it’s missing too much hair, it will be euthanized.
The Game Commission says five to 10 percent of all bears in Pennsylvania have mange.