DNR Euthanizes Repeat Offender Bear
Large adult male bear posed moderate human safety threat; showed no fear of humans
CLEAR SPRING — Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife & Heritage Service (WHS) biologists yesterday euthanized a potentially dangerous black bear that was caught in suburban Cecil County.
Despite numerous attempts in recent weeks to remove human attractants and allow the bear to move on to more appropriate bear habitat, the bear was trapped late Wednesday night. The bear was then transported to a wildlife area for evaluation by WHS staff.
The bear, an adult male weighing 325 lbs., and bearing ear tags from the Pennsylvania Game Commission, was ultimately euthanized under Maryland’s Nuisance Black Bear Response Policy after officials in Pennsylvania confirmed the bear had previously been trapped and relocated after it had killed a goat and raised human safety concerns in Bucks County. The bear was relocated to Schuylkill County, Pa. but eventually made its way into Maryland mid-January, where it was recently responsible for the death of three pet rabbits in two separate incidents.
Additionally, the bear failed to exhibit an appropriate fear of humans and dogs, routinely ignoring human and canine presence and demonstrating behavior consistent with an adult bear that had become accustomed to living and feeding in suburbia.
“This is a truly unfortunate outcome,” said Paul A. Peditto. “Despite our best efforts to resolve this conflict through nonlethal means, it was the right decision under these circumstances and further reinforces the need for our ongoing education of all Marylanders about the presence of black bears and how to interact with them as our population continues to expand.
“In the end, the fact that we were dealing with an adult bear during the hibernation season that had been tagged as a repeat offender in Pennsylvania, traveled more than 130 miles to Maryland suburbs and continued to act aggressively to people and pets, we’re confident that this was the right decision for this particular case, given the facts presented.”
This bear’s history demonstrates the regional nature of Maryland’s bear population, and the subsequent challenges that regionality poses to wildlife management. DNR will continue to work with the regional state and jurisdictions to successfully manage this regional population.
For the complete information on bears in Maryland and how DNR manages the black bear population, visit the DNR Web site at http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/dnrnews/infocus/blackbears.asp
Posted March 26, 2004