Multiple black bear sightings reported in Gaithersburg -- Gazette.Net


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This story was updated on June 20 at 11 a.m.

Gaithersburg residents reported another sighting Thursday of a black bear first spotted in the area Tuesday.

County police received calls about a bear seen near Twelve Oaks Drive and Clopper Road in Gaithersburg about 8 a.m., according to a county press release.

Montgomery County police have received multiple reports of black bear sightings in Gaithersburg and Germantown since June 18.

On Tuesday at 8:12 a.m., county police received a call about a black bear around Middlebrook Road and Frederick Road in Germantown. The next day, at 7:15 a.m., county police received a similar call for a bear near Quince Orchard Road and Darnestown Road in Gaithersburg. County Police Officer Rebecca Innocenti said the bear was seen running toward Sioux Lane.

According to Gaithersburg Police Officer Dan Lane, city and county police were unable to locate the bear.

“After speaking with representatives from [the Maryland Department of Natural Resources],” Lane said, “it was advised to leave the bear alone and let him go back to his natural habitat.”

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources advises residents to give bears their space. Do not attempt to feed them, and store food in secure places.

“Black bears may be seen any time of day and are typically not aggressive,” according to the department’s press release.

“In early summer each year, young bears disperse, or move out, to find a territory of their own,” said Harry Spiker, DNR Game Mammal Section Leader in a press release. “They have been known to travel 100 miles or more while searching for suitable place.”

In recent years, DNR has confirmed black bear sightings in Montgomery, Carroll, Baltimore, Howard, Harford, Cecil, Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties. Sightings typically peak in late June and early July but may persist throughout the summer months. These juvenile bears, which may weigh anywhere between 65 and 200 pounds, eventually move on to more attractive bear habitat, according to the Department of Natural Resources release.

scarignan@gazette.net