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Damascus Bear Moves to Germantown


The black bear which was spotted in parks and back yard bird feeders in Damascus last week has moved on – to Germantown.

Maryland State wildlife officials said that the injured black bear was spotted Friday morning moving south into Germantown. “It is injured but still pretty mobile,” said Ken D’Loughy, with Wildlife and Heritage Services of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. “I got a call this morning saying it was spotted crossing Rt. 355 this morning headed in this direction. And a hiker spotted the bear while on a trail near Observation Drive. The area that the bear is in now is a good spot, there is a good bit of open space which is part of Black Hills Park. It is a good spot for the bear. We will just give it an opportunity to move on.”


The bear was seen from the trail which runs to the northwest of the Milestone Residential neighborhood west of Ridge Road. The trail runs behind parts of Milestone Manor Land near the open space behind Willam B. Gibbs Jr. Elementary School, and behind parts of Village Green Circle to the far west end of Observation Drive. The trail also runs close to Little Seneca Creek.

“This morning we got reports of a bear near William Gibbs Elementary School and another report of it roaming through the neighborhood,” said Lieutenant James Brown with Montgomery County Police. “It wasn’t running or being aggressive just kind loping along on three paws. We are pretty sure that it is the same bear that was seen up in Damascus last week because of the injured left front paw.”

Brown said the bear was last seen going into the woods in the area of Woodcutter Circle. “Now he’s back in the wooded area which backs up into a portion of Black Hill Regional Park which will allow him to get back to the wilderness,” said Brown.

At one point at a news helicopter was flying overhead in search of the bear. "That helicopter probably chased the bear farther back into the woods. We don't expect him to make another appearance," said Brown.

“I am very frightened,” said Germantown resident C. White who lives in the neighborhood where the bear was last seen, “I have a patio and I am afraid going to come on my property.” She said just moved to the neighborhood and her property backs up the park. “It is not going to get in my Jacuzzi is it? I happen to be an attorney and if the bear touches me I am going to sue it. I am trying to make light of the situation but it is kind of creepy,” she said.

The Montgomery County Police are cautioning residents not to approach or feed bears that they encounter. Furthermore, no one should ever corner a bear, but allow a bear a route of escape or a way out.