More bear sightings in Harford County

Almost two weeks after a black bear was first seen in Harford County, and believed to have moved on, the sightings continue. And the people who see the bear, or bears, are taking pictures.

Elaine Derickson, who lives in the 600 block of Stafford Road in Darlington, said a small black bear was in her back yard around 9:15 a.m. Thursday.

"The bear didn't leave Harford County," Derickson, who lives in Susquehanna State Park along the river, chuckled. "It's been knocking down my bird feeder. It must be hungry."

Derickson said she and her husband, William, have lived in their home for 50 years and have seen plenty of wildlife, but never a bear.

She said the bear went back into the woods near her home, but reappeared a short time later.

"Here he comes," she said, excusing herself from the phone call. "Let me see if I can get another picture."

A bear was also sighted in the Webster Village neighborhood in Havre de Grace Tuesday night, according to Duke Thompson, who lives on Quail Way. Around 6 p.m., Thompson said he was working in his yard when a neighbor came to tell him to put his dogs inside because a bear was sighted.

The bear, which the neighbors have named Toby, was eating from a bird feeder at a neighbor's house when two children, a 5-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl, came walking down the street, Thompson said. Despite his attempts to stop the children, Thompson said the young boy said the bear was probably his age and "they could be friends."

Upon seeing the bear, the boy did run from the area and the girl started talking to it before it went back to the bird feeder. The whole incident lasted around 45 minutes that night, Thompson said.

"It was quite amusing," he added.

The bear was not aggressive and has been hanging around the area for about a week, Thompson said. He thinks the bear is attracted to the seclusion of a nearby quarry and has also been knocking down the neighbors' bird feeders.

The bear didn't appear to be afraid of people either, but just wanted to get something to eat, according to Thompson.

"It was very amusing, a little bit scary, but very exciting for Webster Village," he said.

The first sightings started a few weekends ago in the Aberdeen area and later sightings by the Conowingo Dam seemed to show the bear was making its way into Pennsylvania. At the time, Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist Ron Norris said bear sightings are not unusual in Harford County.

Norris encouraged people to take down bird feeders and secure their trash cans to prevent bears from hanging around their properties. Bears, especially younger ones, are "opportunistic" when it comes to getting a quick meal.

If faced with a bear, Norris also said to shout at it or make loud noise until it leaves. He stressed that people should not try to capture or corral the bear.

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