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Lancaster County residents shocked after reports of multiple black bear sightings in East Hempfield Township

According to police, the Game Commission has been looking for a black bear in East Hempfield Township for two days.

LANCASTER, Pa. — "It's very odd. You're not used to seeing a bear," said Lancaster County resident Thomas Martinelli.

Martinelli was surprised when he heard a black bear was on the loose in his community. He lives on Todd Lane in East Hempfield Township and took immediate action.

"I yelled at the kids to go inside 'cause [with] a bear, you never know what they're going to do – especially one that's around the public," he said.

According to West Hempfield Township Police, the Game Commission has been looking for a black bear for two days.

It was seen in the areas of Fairview Road, Farmdale Road and Centerville Road near the Hempfield Green Development.

"I live in Mountville, and I'm surprised we haven't heard anything because our neighborhood – even though it's small – has a lot of wildlife," said local resident Jamie Giuliani.

According to Game Warden Greg Graham, it's becoming more common for bears to travel to populated areas. They've had bear sightings in cities like Philadelphia.

On Wednesday night, the Game Commission set up a trap at Centerville Road where the bear was last seen. Since then, Graham says they haven't gotten any calls on possible sightings, which is something Giuliani said she would observe from afar.

"[It's] Intriguing but scary at the same time," she said. "I'd probably just observe from the window inside my house and take pictures there."

While Graham says there haven't been any recent incidents where someone was attacked by a black bear, he advises you to not approach a bear and bring your pets indoors. 

Martinelli says he has no problem following that advice. 

"I'm just a regular Joe Schmo, so I don't have survival tactics to handle if I'm coming across a bear," he said. "I would just rather not come across a bear right now."

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