UPDATED: More Black Bear Sightings in Montgomery County (PHOTOS)

CR Bear.RWatts.June14-Edited


UPDATED 6.16.16 That yearling black bear is on the move in Montgomery County, according to Maryland bear biologist Harry Spiker.

Spiker said the bear was spotted this morning, at 10 a.m., at Route 29 and Industrial Parkway in Silver Spring.

On Wednesday, the bear was reported eating lunch on the FDA campus in White Oak.

“He was flipping rocks looking for grub underneath,” said Spiker, who said that is good news because the bear is sticking to his natural habitat, and not feeding on birdseed or trash.

According to Spiker, with these most recent sightings there’s more good news to report. The bear appears to be headed north.

“If he’d just swing more west, I’d be happy,” said Spiker, who also shared a photo (see right) that was taken of a black bear earlier this week in Prince George’s County.

Spiker believes all the sightings are of the same bear.

On Monday, the Montgomery County Department of Parks tweeted out a photo (see below) of a bear that is believed to be the same one that others have seen in the general area.

For more information, about black bears in Maryland visit the Department of Natural Resources website, here.

ORIGINAL POST Maryland bear biologist Harry Spiker is keeping tabs on a black bear that is having trouble finding its way west.

According to Spiker, there has been dozens of sightings of this bear within the past month in Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

He said that’s unusual because bear sightings generally last a week, not a month.

On Monday morning, the yearling bear was spotted in Hyattsville. Over the weekend, it was reported on the campus of the University of Maryland.

Spiker said that campus sighting caused a bit of a stir.

“We have had a bear running around for a month,” said Spiker. “Started out in Howard County but every now and then it bounces back from Prince George’s County and Montgomery County.”

According to Spiker, this bear has even stopped traffic on I-70 and Route 29.

“It seems to have learned to navigate the highway well,” Spiker said. “It needs to turn west and head that direction,” he said.

Spiker said black bears can be active anytime of day or night. He said they rest for a while and move on looking for food.

If you encounter a bear, he said, you should treat it like a stray dog. “Give it plenty of space, don’t corner it,” he advised. You may also want to put away your bird feeder and trash can so it doesn’t have an easy source of food.

For now, Spiker is busy tracking the bear’s progress from reports coming into the Department of Natural Resources  (DNR) offices. His office is located in Garrett County, which is located in the far western portion of the state, and a place where black bears are more common.

“Every morning, I come in the office and pull up Google Earth maps to plot the [bear] sightings from the evening before,” he said.

According to Spiker, DNR wildlife officers do not trap bears unless there is an imminent danger. “He got in there, he can get out,” said Spiker.

Although he hasn’t seen a photo of this bear, Spiker predicts that the animal is probably 18-months-old, weighing between 100 to 150 pounds. He said black bears are omnivorious, and will eat vegetation – they prefer skunk cabbage –but will also survive on ant and bee colonies and birdseed.

“This guy has circled around. I hope he goes west,” Spiker said.

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Sonya Burke

About Sonya Burke

Sonya Burke is the Multimedia Manager at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). You can email story ideas at sburke@mymcmedia.org or reach her on Twitter @SonyaNBurke.


One Response to “UPDATED: More Black Bear Sightings in Montgomery County (PHOTOS)”

  1. Avatar
    On August 22, 2016 at 11:23 pm responded with... #

    Should A bear roam into my yard while we are out there could I get in trouble for shooting it?

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