Black Bear Spotted On Eastern Shore

“The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has been monitoring the movements of a young black bear that wandered through Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot Counties. The bear probably traveled into the area from Pennsylvania most likely seeking out habitat of its own. The bear will continue to move until it finds a suitable habitat that is also occupied by bears. The closest suitable habitat occurs in Pennsylvania and western Maryland.

Sightings of the bear were first reported on Sunday evening in the Fairlee area of Kent County. It was seen again on Tuesday evening on the outskirts of Centreville in Queen Anne’s County. Today it was spotted in the Goldsboro Neck area of Talbot County.

“Black bears are wild animals that move across the landscape where and when they choose, often crossing man-made structures like roads, fences and parking lots, where they become visible to people,” said Paul Peditto, Director of DNR’s Wildlife & Heritage Service. “While this is the first confirmed sighting of a black bear on the Eastern Shore, we see dispersing bears in Montgomery, Baltimore, and Harford counties almost every year.”

DNR’s established protocol and response plan to address human/bear encounters are based on decades of black bear research in Maryland.

“Experience has taught us that the safest response for the bear and Maryland’s citizens is to let the bear wander through on its way to a more acceptable habitat,” added Peditto. “It is not uncommon for a dispersing bear to roam more than 30 miles in a day.”

DNR will continue to monitor the movements of the bear, which at this time poses no known threat to public safety. Black bears are not aggressive animals by nature, but can be dangerous if they become dependent upon human food sources or are startled. If you happen to see the bear, do not approach it. Always allow an escape route for the bear, and make loud noises so that the bear does not become comfortable around people. DNR also encourages residents to secure trash, birdfeeders, and pet food so that the bear does not become dependent on human foods.

Mid-shore residents may report current sightings of the bear by calling the Maryland Natural Resources Police 24-hour, toll-free at 1-800-628-9944.

For more information about black bears visit http://www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/bbfaq.asp

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