THURMONT, Md. (WJZ) — Officials at Catoctin Mountain Park in western Maryland said they have received multiple reports of bear and bear cub sightings in the park in the past week.
Even with the park being closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, there have been two sightings in the past week, park biologist Becky Loncosky said.
Park Superintendent Rick Slade said it’s not unusual to see bears in the area.
June and July are mating months for the bears, which can travel long distances to mate. In addition, the one-and-a-half-year-old female bears are often let go from their families and in search of new territory around this time of year, Loncosky said.
Sightings are up in western Maryland over the past decade as the bears move further east, she added.
The park wrote on Facebook that bear attacks are uncommon and the animals will usually run when they hear people approach.
If a bear charges or woofs, it means a person is too close, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. People should back away slowly and leave a route for the bear to escape.
If the bear won’t leave, people should make loud noises to scare it away.
Park visitors should not approach or feed the bears or other wild animals, Loncosky said.
Black bears are primarily found in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett and Washington counties but can venture into other areas, especially during the spring, according to the DNR.