A black bear that apparently wandered from Pennsylvania into Delaware evaded capture Thursday after being cornered for a time by police and wildlife officers in Wilmington’s Trolley Square neighborhood.
A video feed from NBC10′s helicopter showed the young bear running around yards and parking lots behind homes in the area, clearly seeking to avoid officials pursuing it.
The pursuit came a day after Delaware state police reported they had received sightings of a bear in the area of the I-95/I-495 split north of Wilmington.
But after more than an hour of cat and mouse, the bear escaped into nearby parkland along the Brandywine Creek that borders the neighborhood and officials called off the pursuit.
Late Thursday morning, Wilmington police reported they had reopened streets they had closed, saying, “Residents and motorists can resume normal activity.”
Then, shortly after 5 p.m., the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced it had closed the wooded areas and trails at Alapocas Run State Park until further notice because of a black-bear sighting in the park.
Game wardens set up a trap on loan from Pennsylvania and baited with doughnuts and chocolate in an effort to capture the bear safely.
The bear is believed to be the one that was first spotted last week across the Pennsylvania line in Delaware County.
Black bear populations have expanded in recent decades in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland, so sightings are not that unusual, the Natural Resources Department said.
The last reported one was in 2016, said department spokesperson Michael Globetti.