Bear sighted in Harford County Saturday

A black bear was sighted wandering several times in Harford County Saturday, according to police.

Harford County sheriff's deputies responded to three separate locations for sightings of the bear and in one of them, on Montreal Drive, in the Carsins Run area west of Aberdeen, a deputy spotted the bear, according to Capt. Keith Warner, a spokesman for the sheriff's office.

The deputy saw the bear a little after 5:51 p.m. and said it was in the back yard of a residence, close to the wood line, Warner added.

The bear was probably two-to-three years old, 250 to 300 pounds and about six feet tall, according to Warner. The deputy also added that it was non-aggressive.

Two other sightings were reported - at Tower Road in the Creswell area at 5:05 p.m. and on Cypress Drive at 8:47 p.m. - Warner wrote in an e-mail Tuesday.

He added that the Department of Natural Resources was notified of the sightings, but would not respond unless the bear was acting aggressively.

There were also unconfirmed reports of a small black bear being sighted earlier in the day Saturday around the Maryland Golf & Country Clubs and nearby neighborhoods in the Bel Air area.

Activity high in June

June has historically been a prime month for bear sightings in Harford County.

A family reported encountering a bear while walking in the woods between Forest Hill and Fallston in June 1997. Two years later, a woman living on Schucks Road near Harford Community College reported seeing a bear in her garden.

Probably the most widely covered of these past sightings occurred in June 2003, when a young black bear roamed from the Pennsylvania border through central Harford County to the Aberdeen area and then onto Aberdeen Proving Ground, as residents reported his daily movements. Unfortunately for him, the bear left APG and headed through Perryman and into the Creswell area, where he was shot by a homeowner on Nova Scotia Road, who told police the bear was threatening his dog. DNR staff had to euthanize the bear.

A bear was also sighted in the Jarrettsville area in June 2010, as reported by another sheriff's deputy, who said it had been one of his lifelong ambitions to see a bear in Harford County.

There was also a bear sighting last week in the Jacksonville area of Baltimore County and a bear sighting in a back yard of a house in Columbia in suburban Howard County.

DNR issued a news advisory Tuesday, entitled "Reduce Human Bear conflicts," which notes this is time of the year when bears are traveling through Maryland.

Food sources such as trash, bird feeders and grills can draw bears into residential areas, DNR said. Residents are encouraged to keep trash indoors until it is scheduled to picked up. Outdoor grills should either be kept indoors or thoroughly cleaned when not in use.

People should also take down any bird feeders from April through November or to bring them in at night when bears are most active, according to DNR.

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