Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Black bear, Black bear

Photo submitted to The Baltimore Sun by10-year-old Jack Ferguson in Westminster

Apparently these little fellas are popping up all over the state of Maryland. The Baltimore Sun reports:

"...The latest sightings began Saturday in Federal Hill, in north-central Harford County. That was followed by a call from Freeland, in northern Baltimore County, and a third on Sunday from Shiloh Road outside Hampstead in northern Carroll County. On Tuesday the bear was sighted near Wheelers and Belfast roads in Sparks. And on Wednesday, the DNR took another report from Cockeysville...

...Total reports of Maryland bear sightings (outside of Garrett County) have increased from 82 in 1998 to 121 in 2009, Spiker said. The number of reports outside the four counties where bears breed has also gone up, from 6 in 1998 to 86 in 2008. As many as 72 of those 2008 reports can probably be accounted for by multiple sightings of just two bears – the one captured in Arbutus, and the New Jersey bear caught on Maryland's Eastern Shore. But the numbers do reflect the increasing frequency of bear-human encounters in the suburbs, occasions that can delight, or imperil, all concerned. And if (or when) bears get established in Baltimore's suburban counties, those encounters would surely increase. But it will likely be a few years before the bears become permanent neighbors. The Pennsylvania counties that adjoin Carroll, Baltimore and Harford counties have the lowest bear densities in the state. And female bears breeding in Frederick County will be slow to find dens farther east..."

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