Another black bear sighting in Maryland suburb - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Another black bear sighting in Maryland suburb

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Hide your bird seed and put away your leftovers! Otherwise, you may be the next one to get a face-to-face meeting with a hungry black bear.

In the past two weeks, there have been several close encounters in Maryland, the District and Virginia.

Apparently it is nothing too unusual or out-of-line with nature, according to a wildlife specialist with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

"It's more likely that the bear the folks in Gaithersburg saw about a week and a half ago was ultimately captured in Washington, D.C. and moved to far western Montgomery County - almost to Frederick County," says Paul Peditto, Director of the Maryland DNR's Wildlife and Heritage Service.

This latest guy seen Tuesday afternoon at Crabbs Branch Stream Valley Park near the Shady Grove Metro station was about a 100 pound, year-and-a-half old male black bear. He was captured on video by a family that wants to remain anonymous. The 24-second clip is now posted on a DNR Facebook page.

Peditto says he was likely sent on his way by mama bear.

"She'll breed this year," Peditto says. "She does not want her essentially teenage sons around during that breeding process with another adult male, so she effectively forces them out of the family unit. They're off finding their own way and some of them stumble into these sort of unfamiliar suburban territories."

Peditto says they are looking for a fast and easy meal.

"If someone were to fire up their July 4th barbeque grill [Thursday] and leave those steaks out there by accident overnight," he says, "that bear can smell that barbeque from a long way off and that's a much easier meal than having to chase down a cottontail rabbit in somebody's wood lot."

He says most of the black bears we are seeing are from western Maryland or West Virginia and almost always head back home on their own.

One reason Peditto says it seems we are seeing more of them lately is because people keep sharing their close encounters on social media.

Related Stories:

Black bear makes way through downtown Frederick

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

Video and Photos: Bear spotted on deck of Gaithersburg house

Bear sighting in Montgomery County

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