State College

Bear climbs up tree near downtown State College after being struck by car

A black bear that was struck by a vehicle Thursday night bounded up a tree in front of a State College apartment complex and used a branch as a temporary home through at least Friday afternoon.

The yearling was struck by a 1990 Oldsmobile Cutlass and ran up a tree in front of the Nittany View Apartments along the 800 block of South Allen Street, State College police said.

The car had minor damage, and state Game Commission Warden Dan Murray said he did not yet know if the bear was injured.

The Game Commission is waiting to see if the bear, which was about 60-70 feet off the ground, leaves the tree on its own before potentially tranquilizing it, Murray said.

“Think of this as a game and the clock is running down. The bear has control of the ball and when the bear is ready to come down, it’ll come down,” Murray said Friday afternoon. “There’s certain variables going on here, like the stress of the bear; it’s thirsty, it’s hungry (and) it may be injured. When it’s ready to lower and come down tree a little bit, I’ll be able to make a determination if it’s safe to tranquilize the bear.”

A black bear was struck by a vehicle and then climbed a tree on South Allen Street in State College, officials said. Abby Drey

If the bear is still in the tree when it gets dark, Murray said he may also let the bear shimmy down the tree and leave naturally.

“Whether there’s a bear in town or not is not the emergency. There’s always bears in State College,” Murray said. “State College is bear country.”

Bears are often enticed to visit urban areas because they’re after grills, bird seed or garbage, Murray said. He recommended residents not feed birds if bears are known to be in the area and wait to put trash out until the morning it’s to be collected to give bears less time.

The sidewalk in front of the apartment complex was closed for public safety. Residents of the apartment are allowed to come and go, but Murray said they’re asked to use an alternative door.

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