Seen a bear in the neighborhood lately? Quarantine life may be attracting them

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) Bear sightings in residential areas across the region are not uncommon this time of year. But as more people have quarantined in the past few months, the empty streets may have attracted more bears.

With mandatory closures and stay-at-home orders, there’s been far less noise and traffic in neighborhoods.

On Tuesday, a young black bear was seen all over Deptford Township, scurrying through backyards, over fences, and even near a Wawa.

“Less traffic, just less activity going on while we are in quarantine has kind of created this maybe false idea for the bears that it is quiet and they can move through here without fear,” explained Ted Daeschler, curator of vertebrate zoology at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. “But as activity is picking up, I would imagine that the bears will stay clear as much as possible.”

Deschler noted other contributing factors, like a higher black bear population and “dispersal,” a behavior in which a young bear, around 2 years old, leaves home in search of another habitat.