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Diatribe: A Bear At The Mall.


Going to the mall has always been an opportunity for “people watching”.  I’m never surprised by the characters that I see in any mall that I ever visit.  In all my years of shopping adventure, I have never encountered wildlife.

A mall in the Pittsburgh area had an unexpected visitor Saturday night: A bear wandered into the Sears store.  Yes, a bear ran through a parking lot of the Pittsburgh Mills mall in Frazier, northeast of downtown Pittsburgh and slipped into the Sears store through an automated door.

The bear, weighing about two hundred pounds, then became caught in the lobby area of the store between two sets of doors.   Witnesses said the bear had been spotted at a nearby Walmart around 3:00 p.m. and was later seen running from the J.C. Penney store to Sears at 5:00 p.m.  Also, local police had spotted the bear in woods surrounding the mall days earlier.

Eventually, Pennsylvania wildlife officials tranquilized the bear and carried it out.

Wildlife officials said the bear, which had a tracking collar on it, appeared to be a female black bear of unknown age, but they couldn’t immediately determine where it came from.

The next time I’m at the mall and I find myself a part of a bizarre cast of characters, I’ll be thankful that there’s not a black bear in the crowd.

UPDATE: 07/23/12 – Second bear spotted at Pittsburgh mall. Police shoo the large adult bear into the woods behind Walmart.

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From → Diatribes

  1. That’s amazing!!! And as improbable as it may seem to many people, it doesn’t seem improbable to me, because just about a month ago, we had a black bear show up in our neighborhood, in the back yard only a few houses away from us. BTW, we live only 10 miles from downtown Boston.

    Hmmm… maybe black bears have decided that “Hey, if we can’t beat the human race, we might as well join them… and go shopping together at the mall.” Lol 🙂

    Our neighborhood bear experience inspired me to write a post that is one of my personal favorites, because I wrote it as a light hearted parody, and it was really fun for me to write.

    Thanks for your post here – That picture of the bear in the mall is great! 🙂


    • Apparently, black bears from the Smoky Mountain National Park and other natural habitat are venturing out in search of food and water. They’ve been spotted closer to highly-populated areas than ever before. Of course, this is the first I’ve heard of a bear going to the mall!

      I think they’re cute. Too bad they can be so dangerous!

      Check out Chris’ “bear post” at!


      • So your black bears are coming into town from the Smoky Mts…

        Maybe your bear was looking for the food court at the mall – They aren’t all that discriminating when it comes to where they like to go for lunch. Lol 🙂

        Our bear apparently decided to vacation on Cape Cod (seriously) on his FIRST visit to our area. Wild Life officials tranquilized him and moved him to the woods of Central MA. But the same bear, who had an ear tag to identify him, apparently didn’t like being relocated to the woods of Central MA, so he hiked back to the Boston suburbs and made an appearance in our neighborhood. A few days later, he was spotted in a town even closer to Boston, and wild life officials tranquilized him again, and moved him farther away to Western MA. Hopefully he will like it there, and stay there this time.

        I like black bears, but they can be dangerous, and I hope ours doesn’t come back again, not only for the well being of the people around here, but also for his own safety. I’d be very sad if our bear ended up getting shot.

        Thanks for the link to my post! 🙂


  2. Anonymous permalink

    Well at least she visited J.C. Penny’s. That should tick off the million moms crazies…


  3. I feel bad for the poor little bear.


  4. And to think all she wanted was a new fur . . .


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