Valley goes on safe, fun, “bear hunt” amid COVID-19 pandemic

SELINSGROVE – The “Central PA Stuffed Animal Hunters” are coming to a neighborhood near you. Marissa Crames of Selinsgrove started a Facebook group to encourage people to put stuffed animals in their windows and on their porches, as a fun distraction for kids during a time of social distancing.

“It’s becoming quite a little movement here, which is wonderful,” Crames said. “And now we have people in Wilkes-Barre, Liverpool, Shamokin, all over, who are putting bears in their windows for the children to come and look at,” she said.

In a short time, the group has grown to more than 2,100 members and Crames says adults and senior citizens are enjoying it just as much as the kids. She says it has also expanded from stuffed bears to any stuffed animal to encourage a “walk in the zoo.”

Crames says she was motivated to start the project locally after her 7-year old son, Liam, said he wished he had his puppy to take for a walk.

“Last month, my son and I had a house fire and we lost everything, including our pets. And it was hard during quarantine because he would look out the window and see everybody walking their dogs and he missed his puppy…so this motivated me to get him out of the house and walking, and out there in the public and not just inside, being an only child without much socialization since he can’t be with his friends or in school,” Crames said.

Crames said the she saw the project happening elsewhere on Facebook and wanted to make it local. She says it stemmed from the children’s book, “Going on a Bear Hunt,” by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. You can find more information and animal locations on their Facebook page at: Central PA Stuffed Animal Hunters.

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