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Bear at mall: Wildlife officials respond to unusual mall visitors

Bear at mall: Over the weekend, shoppers at the Pittsburgh Mills Mall were greeted by a black bear who entered a Sears store. Two hours later, a second bear was spotted near the mall's Olive Garden. Wildlife officials set a trap Monday to relocate the second bear.

By Associated Press / July 24, 2012

Bear at mall: Two bears were spotted at a mall near Pittsburgh over the weekend, prompting wildlife officials to set a trap for one Monday afternoon. Here, Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife conservation officer Jacob Olexsak, left, helps lift a black bear that was tranquilized while it was up a tree located in the backyard of the home in Erie, Pa., on July 22, 2012.

Janet B. Kummerer/Erie Times-News/AP

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PITTSBURGH

The Pennsylvania Game Commission worked to set a trap Monday afternoon after mall-goers in Frazer encountered not one, but two bears at a mall.

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Local media reported that at about 9 p.m. a 125-pound bear walked around a Sears store at the Pittsburgh Mills Mall for about 10 minutes and growled at customers, then became stuck between double doors.

After the customers evacuated the store, the Pennsylvania Game Commission tranquilized the bear and removed it from the mall, which is about 15 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. No injuries were reported.

Authorities say they have no idea why the young bear walked across a parking lot, through doors and into the Sears store. The bear appeared to be around 1 1/2 years old and had a tracking collar on it.

A second bear emerged later near an Olive Garden restaurant at the mall around 11:45 p.m. Saturday. That was less than two hours after officials tranquilized the first bear that had gotten inside a Sears store.

Officials say the second bear was not captured and then reappeared around 7:45 p.m. Sunday, backing up traffic on a nearby highway.

According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, wildlife authorities set a trap Monday afternoon in order to capture the bear. The trap is a large canister with camouflage paint and the words "Danger Bear Trap." They will use Hostess Mini Muffins and Ding Dongs to attract the bear.

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