By Linh Bui

BETHESDA, Md. (WJZ)—Back to the wild. Authorities capture a bear spotted in both Howard and Montgomery counties.

Linh Bui reports bear sightings typically go up this time of year.

Imagine seeing a bear outside your office. Thursday, one got stuck in a tree outside the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.

“Not an ideal place for a bear to be,” said Paul Peditto, Director of Wildlife and Heritage Service at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

DNR officers used noisemakers to scare the bear out of the tree. And after several hours, he finally climbed down and then took off.

Officers found and tranquilized the bear—a 1.5-year-old male that weighed about 100 pounds.

They’ve released him in western Maryland.

Most of the time, officers leave bears alone, letting them continue on their way. But this time, the bear was so close to Rockville Pike, there were concerns he’d wander into traffic and cause a crash.

Authorities say he’s likely the same bear spotted in Rockville, Columbia and Ellicott City.

They can cover 15 to 20 miles a day.

“It’s kind of scary to know there’s a black bear hanging around out here,” one resident said.

There are about 1,000 black bears in Maryland. And this time of year, sightings go up.

The females are preparing to mate. So they’ve kicked out their juvenile males, who are now looking for new territory. They sometimes end up somewhere they shouldn’t be.

“Bears are a part of our landscape now. Fifty years ago, black bears were an endangered species in the state of Maryland. Now they’re very common in the western part. And the population continues to grow slowly,” Peditto said.

A good reminder as we head into summer: don’t leave your grill or food outside. The best way to avoid bear problems is to not attract them in the first place.

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