Delaware

Black Bear Runs Through Wilmington Yards, Successfully Escapes Would-Be Human Captors

A day after at least three bear sightings in the North Wilmington area, a bear was spotted in the Trolley Square and Brandywine Park neighborhoods Thursday

What to Know

  • A day after at least three bear sightings in the North Wilmington area, a bear was spotted in two other neighborhoods Thursday.
  • Some have dubbed the incidents the work of the #Delabear.
  • We have tips on what you should do if you spot a bear.

A shifty black bear successfully eluded numerous police and wildlife officers as it ran through Wilmington, Delaware, yards and streets on Thursday morning. 

The creature dubbed #Delabear escaped into New Castle County, according to Wilmington police, who called off their own capture attempt after a couple hours.

"The bear is no longer in our jurisdiction," officials said in a statement. "Residents and motorists can resume normal activity."

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Around 3 p.m., the bear was spotted in the wooded area of Alapocas Run State Park in North Wilmington, Delaware. The park is closed until further notice due to the bear sighting.

NBC10's SkyForce10 helicopter followed the bear for about an hour as it rumbled through Wilmington's Trolley Square neighborhood shortly after 10 a.m. On its run, it also darted through parking lots and ran along train tracks as it moved toward the Brandywine Park neighborhood.

It remains unknown how authorities plan on capturing the animal.

On Wednesday, there were at least three bear sightings between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. in the North Wilmington area near Interstate 95, Delaware State Police said. It is unclear at this point if more than one bear could be responsible for the sightings.

It's not unusual to spot a black bear in Delaware, the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife said. Not approaching the bear is a good idea.

Police and wildlife officials suggest you slowly back away and seek shelter then call 911 if you spot a bear, or any other wild animal. You can also call the Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources police at 800-523-3336.

Bear attacks are rare but can happen.

Some of the things that attract bears include garbage, bird seed and pet food. Don't try to feed the bears.

A bear black bear is on the run in a New Castle County neighborhood Thuersday. NBC10’s Tim Furlong is covering authorities’ efforts to capture the wild animal being called the #Delabear.

BearWise offers more tips for anyone who happens upon a bear including making lots of noise with pots and pans (don’t try to imitate the bear) to scare off the animal, giving the bear a clear escape route and removing any attractants. If the bear spots you, you should stay calm and lightly wave your arms to help the bear recognize you as human, the National Park Service says.

Both BearWise and the NPS have more tips about what to do if a bear gets aggressive.

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