Bear captured in DC, released in rural Montgomery County, Md. - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Bear captured in DC, released in rural Montgomery County, Md.

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Glen Echo bear sighting Glen Echo bear sighting
Glen Echo bear sighting Glen Echo bear sighting
Fairfax County bear sighting Fairfax County bear sighting
Fairfax County bear sighting Fairfax County bear sighting
Fairfax County bear sighting Fairfax County bear sighting
WASHINGTON -

A young, male bear hit with a tranquilizer dart kept running from animal control officers in D.C.'s Spring Valley and Palisades neighborhoods Wednesday. After a 25-minute chase, the animal collapsed, was captured, tagged and released in rural Western Montgomery County, Md.

This time it was a domestic bear (not the exotic Chinese Red Panda that had briefly escaped from the National Zoo earlier in the week). And instead of Adams Morgan, it's was D.C.'s tony Spring Valley and Palisades neighborhoods that were visited during the mid-morning hours by this native-to-North America black bear.

Police, responding to citizen calls of a bear sighting, set up a perimeter in part of Spring Valley, but the bear started running.

"We started running after him," laughed Scott Giacoppo of Washington Humane Society who led a team of nine animal control officers during the chase.

Giacoppo believes it is the same bear that made appearances Tuesday in nearby Glen Echo, Md. Even when hit with a tranquilizer dart, the 100-pound male bear kept running for about 25 minutes with the animal control officers in pursuit.

"That bear was not getting away from us. Just like the other day: that panda was not getting away from us," Giacoppo said afterward. "We were jumping over fences, six, eight feet tall -- just jumping over and crashing to the ground. [The other animal control officers are] a lot younger than I am, so they're able to be out in front of me ... I tried to keep up with them."

The bear finally fell over and was captured. Although bears are occasionally sighted in D.C., even with the existence of the huge Rock Creek Park, the city does not have enough woodland for bear habitat.

Maryland's Department of Natural Resources agreed to help. The tranquilized bear's ears were tagged, and the animal was released in rural, western Montgomery County.

Should the bear return to D.C., he will next time be removed to a more distant part of rural Maryland, Giacoppo said.

The Humane Society gets about two sighting reports per year of bears in D.C., usually in late spring or early summer when mamma bears are pushing their adolescent offspring away to find their own territories.


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