Bad news, bears: trap is already on site

Bad news, bears: trap is already on site

State Game Commission bear trap, in the woods behind UPJ’s town houses, has not been set in months.

Keith Hartman, Features Editor

Pitt-Johnstown students stumbled onto a bear trap two weeks ago while lost on a hike in the woods.

The large green cylindrical trap is decorated with bright red “Keep Away, Bear Trap,” signs and a large “PA Game Commission,” sign on the front.

Initially, Game Commission dispatchers in Harrisburg could not locate the trap in their database without a serial number.

No numbers could be found on the top and dispatchers said they were unable to give any information on that particular trap.

“We’ve had a lot of traps getting relocated so this might be one of them,” said a dispatcher.

This trap is well dug in and lookes to have been there for quite some time.

Campus Police Chief Zangaglia knew exactly where it was.

“One of our officers have been coordinating with the Game Commission for years and we’ve worked with the same (Game Commission) officer. It’s a joint effort,” said Zangaglia.

The trap was unset with both gates down and covered in the foliage.

One commission dispatcher who declined to provide her name provided information on the traps.

“If the gates are down, then we haven’t set it. We wouldn’t set it unless we can have someone out there every day or two to check it out.

“We obviously don’t want an animal stuck in there.”

The trap is along Berwick Road on the Pitt-Johnstown campus behind a “Do Not Enter” sign accented with the school crest.

Bears have been caught there in the past and relocated, but the trap has not been active in months said Zangaglia.

“One was caught a few months ago and released, but there hasn’t been a problem lately,” said Zangaglia.

Zangaglia said that, with students coming back, it may be an issue again.

Unwitting bears may find their way onto campus looking for an easy trashcan meal with students on campus and more opportunities for a easy snack.

“Obviously, with the students here, we want to keep the bear away,” said Zangaglia.

Zangaglia said students should contact campus police if they see a bear.