News Release, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Marylanders Urged to Keep Bears Wild

Photo of black bear on hillside

After a long winter slumber,black bearsare now emerging from their dens, and human residents of Maryland’s bear country should take steps to keep both species separate and safe.

Adult and newborn bears will emerge hungry and seeking natural food sources, but many of their preferred foods — acorns, berries, insects and plants — are still in short supply this time of year. Until these natural foods are more seasonally abundant, bears may become more easily attracted to artificial and human-generated food sources.

TheMaryland Department of Natural Resourcesurges residents to remove all potential bear attractants to prevent conflicts.

Recommendations include:

  • Locking garbage in a bear-proof trash bin or storing trash containers in a locked garage or shed until the morning of trash pickup;
  • Rinsing out trash containers with ammonia to eliminate odors;
  • Storing cooking grills inside or keeping them cleanof food residue; and
  • Removing backyard bird-feeders April through November (birds have plenty of wild food sources during this time).

“Keeping bears wild is a community effort that benefits people as well as our largest native land mammal,”Wildlife and Heritage ServiceDirector Paul Peditto said. “Using care to avoid attracting bears now will help keep them wild and keep everyone as safe as possible throughout the year.”

Black bears are most common in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett and Washington counties, but they can also be seen dispersing and traveling throughout much of Maryland in the spring and summer months.


More information on living with bears is availableonline.Any bear-related issues or questions can be directed to 301-777-2136 or 410-260-8888 for emergency or after-hours calls.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...