BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Concern is growing after several bears have recently been struck on major roadways in Maryland.
A bear was struck by a car and killed on Interstate 83 just before Shawan Road in Baltimore County Thursday morning, according to our media partner The Baltimore Sun. Police say the bear weighed about 100 pounds.
Wildlife experts with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources say it’s the fourth case of its kind in the past several days.
Though it’s not unusual with a slow-growing bear population in the region, experts say the issue is more of a case of man-made growth and development close to bear habitats.
“These animals are naturally dispersing at this time of year and these were just sort of chance encounters that all happened at the same time,” said Paul Peditto with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources of Wildlife & Heritage Service.
The two most recent bear-versus-car encounters have occurred on I-83. Another on I-95 near Bel Air and one near the intersection of I-72 and I-95 in Anne Arundel County.
Drivers near the latest incident say they expect to see some level of wildlife, but certainly not a bear.
“Seems like a rare occurrence,” driver Jacob Heiland said.
Liz Askine was heartbroken by the image of the bear that wildlife experts say was about a year old and able to survive on its own. But she fears this could mean more possible bears sightings at home.
“That would be even worse,” she said.
That’s why it’s encouraged that you remove items around the home, like bbq grills, trash and bird feeders that could attract them. More bear sightings are expected with the coming summer months.
Experts say the best thing to do on the road is to take the same precautions you would with a deer.