Students and staff at a Pennsylvania school are taking precautionary cover inside a school building awaiting more information about the whereabouts of a bear that was sighted outside the school on Wednesday morning.
Representatives at St. Jude Catholic School in Chalfont, Bucks County, say there were numerous sightings of the bear in the area surrounding the school.
According to the school's secretary, Terry Crowley, the bear was spotted twice on Wednesday morning; once at around 7:30 a.m. near an entranceway to the school, and a second time, headed towards the St. Jude Church building at around 9 a.m.
St. Jude is a Catholic elementary school in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, serving pre-school through 8th grade students.
Crowley says the school has notified parents of the bear sighting, and have cancelled all outdoor activities for the day.
Multiple bear sightings have been reported in areas throughout Bucks County over the past few weeks.
Last week, a near 200-pound bear was captured and euthanized after rummaging through neighborhoods in the Bensalem area of Bucks County for several days.
Hilltown Township Police say another bear was sighted north of the Hilltown Village section of the Bucks County township this week on Tuesday.
Hilltown Police are encouraging residents to report any bear sightings by calling (215) 453-6011.
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The Pennsylvania Game Commission, the agency responsible for managing the state's wild animals and habitats, recommend the following safety tips for residents who encounter bears on the loose:
- Do not knowingly approach any bear.
- Do not feed bears.
- Secure trash receptacles & store pet food, bird food, etc. inside.
- Let the bear know you are present by making loud noise and shouting at the bear to scare it away.
- If you find yourself in close proximity to a bear, avoid eye contact and back away slowly.
- In the extremely unlikely and rare instance of a bear attack, people are advised to fight back.