Delaware state police say they received three reports of a bear on the move Wednesday morning, not far from the Pennsylvania border.
The sightings raised the question of whether the bear is one of two believed to be roaming Delaware County, or if it is a third bruin on the hunt for food before settling into a den for the winter.
Delaware state police said the sightings were reported between 3 and 7 a.m. in an area south of where I-95 and I-495 split in Claymont.
Police said they are working with Delaware Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources in the search for the bear.
Officials had said they were tracking what appeared to be two bears in Delaware County. The first was spotted Friday in Villanova and a day later in Collingdale.
Timothy Boyce, director of Delaware County Emergency Services, told 6ABC that what was believed to be a second bear was spotted over the weekend in the western part of the county near the Aston-Middletown line.
Bears are being sighted more frequently in suburban areas due to increasing population pressure. The Pennsylvania Game Commission estimates that there are about 20,000 bears in the state. Hunters have taken more than 4,100 bears so far this year, none in the four counties surrounding Philadelphia, according to the commission.
Bears, which are most active at dawn and dusk, are fattening up before retreating to their dens.
Bird feeders attract bears, and residents in areas where bears have been sighted should consider taking feeders down until it gets colder, and should secure their trash cans, wildlife experts say. Never approach a bear and report sightings to police.