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Carroll County Times
Carroll County News

Black bear spotted wandering near Westminster High

A small black bear was spotted Thursday morning wandering around Westminster, eventually making its way into Westminster High School’s stadium.

The bear was spotted at about 7:30 a.m., Thursday, on Westminster High property, left the area, then returned to the high school at about 8:30 a.m., according to Carey Gaddis, communications officer at Carroll County Public Schools.

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The school resource officer who is posted at Westminster High “went out and kept an eye on him,” and contacted animal control, Gaddis said. Students and staff remained inside the building. The officer saw the bear run across Route 97 near the school and back into the woods, Gaddis said.

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Karen Baker, executive director of the Humane Society of Carroll County, the county government’s animal control arm, said her office was alerted to the situation by officials at Westminster High School, and she, in turn, alerted the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

“Our officers went down to see where the bear was and keep eyes on it until DNR could get there,” Baker said. ”This time of the year it is normal that the young males are moving, their moms have kicked them out because it’s breeding season.”

By late morning, the bear seemed to have run into the woods near the school and the Department of Natural Resources is monitoring the situation, Baker said.

”We typically see them during this time of the year moving through the area in the spring and we get a couple reports so it’s nothing unusual,“ Baker said. ”Usually they don’t bother anyone — he’s just finding his way, [finding] a place where he can live.”

The DNR website advises that if you spot a bear, back away slowly, go indoors and wait for the bear to leave. Most bears fear people and will leave if they see a person. To report a bear-related emergency, call the DNR at 410-260-8888.

More information on living with black bears can be found on the DNR website at https://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/pages/hunt_trap/bblivingwith.aspx.


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