Mother bear, three cubs spotted in Park Forest off Bellvue Circle

A mother black bear and three cubs were spotted in a tree off Bellvue Circle in the Park Forest area Wednesday afternoon.

Bob Donaldson, who lives across the street from the tree, said the bears knocked over three of his bird feeders Tuesday night at about 10 p.m. and likely had been in the tree most of Wednesday.

“I feel guilty,” Donaldson said about the bird feeders possibly attracting the bears, adding that he will keep them up because “there’s a certain amount of excitement.”

Seeing bears over his 40 years in Patton Township isn’t really out of the ordinary for Donaldson.

He said they hibernate in the Scotia Barrens just north of the area and begin to come down when the weather gets warmer. He estimates he has seen bears about six different times.

Donaldson warned people not to get too close to the bears when they do descend from the tree. Getting between a mother bear and cubs can be extremely dangerous, he said.

If a bear’s behavior noticeably changes when people are around it, they should back away, according to the National Park Service website.

The site says people should not run away from a bear, rather backing away slowly to avoid confrontation.

Patton Township police did not immediately return a call for comment.