The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Bear sighted near campus

The bear sighting was reported directly to Easton City Hall. (Photo courtesy of @cityofeastonpa on Twitter)

Last Thursday, a bear sighting was reported “on College Hill near Parker Ave and Shawnee Ave,” according to a tweet by the City of Easton. The sighting occurred approximately one mile northeast of Lafayette’s main campus. 

The alert advised residents in the area to “keep trash inside, remove bird and squirrel feeders, and … not throw food scraps outside” in accordance with Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) recommendations, and to contact emergency services if the bear became aggressive.

“It’s been a couple of years since we’ve actually seen [a bear], but it’s fairly common,” Jack, a resident of the neighborhood where the bear was sighted who declined to provide his last name, said. “It doesn’t really bother us.”

Jack reported that he heard the bear knock over multiple trash cans and cross through his garden.

Black bears are common in Pennsylvania. According to the PGC website, the black bear is the only bear found in Pennsylvania, and in 2015, there were approximately 20,000 bears living in the state. They are usually drawn into residential areas by potential food sources, such as trash and animal feeders, as the aforementioned guidelines state.

While College Hill residents may be used to bears, students seem less accustomed to the proximity of wildlife to campus.

“I was very surprised,” Charlotte Farrelly ‘26, a native of Pennsylvania, said about the bear. Though local to the college, Farrelly was shocked to think that wildlife was so common in a suburban city. 

The PGC recommends one of two courses of action if a black bear is sighted: make a loud noise to scare the bear away or simply leave it alone. No fatal black bear attacks have ever been reported in Pennsylvania since PGC began documenting encounters, but spring is traditionally the most dangerous time of year for black bear attacks. 

It is illegal to feed black bears in Pennsylvania. Bears that become dependent on human food often return to residential areas and can become aggressive. 

If a bear is sighted, it can be reported to the Pennsylvania Game Commission Southeast Region with a phone call to 833-742-4868 or 833-742-9453 or Easton Police Non-Emergency at 610-759-2200. If a bear becomes aggressive, one can call 911.

Neither the Pennsylvania Game Commission nor the Easton Police Department could provide any information about the sighting, as it was reported directly to City Hall. Students should be made aware of any updates about this situation from Easton’s social media pages if a bear is reported closer to campus. 

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Selma O'Malley, News Editor
Waiting for someone to write a sitcom about a college newspaper.

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