Bear re­turns to Ce­cil County

Res­i­dents fire shots, but an­i­mal es­capes un­harmed

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JANE BELLMYER

jbellmyer@ ce­cil­whig. com

— “Ce­cil the Bear” has reap­peared, prompt­ing both cu­rios­ity and con­cern once again.

At least two peo­ple fired a shot­gun at the an­i­mal Wed­nes­day night, but the bear got away un­in­jured.

“Maryland Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources con­firmed it wasn’t shot,” said spokes­woman Can­dus Thom­son.

A home­owner on Dogwood Road fired two shots to scare the bear away. How­ever, the bear scam­pered up a tree in­stead.

“The bear suc­cess­fully got out of the tree,” ac­cord­ing to Ce­cil County Sher­iff’s Of­fice Cpl. Michael Kalin­sky.

Kalin­sky said deputies were called to the home around 8: 45 p. m. Wed­nes­day for a re­port of the bear be­ing ag­gres­sive. How­ever, the deputies ex­plained that the bear is more fearful of the dogs than the other way around.

“Bears are more afraid of dogs and peo­ple than any­thing else,” he said. Ac­cord­ing to Kalin­sky it was a sec­ond call – which was han­dled by Elk­ton Po­lice – in which shots were

ELK­TON

fired.

“No one was charged, but they were ad­vised that you can­not shoot the bear,” Kalin­sky said.

Amanda Badur, who lives on Singerly Road, also had a close up look at the wan­der­ing an­i­mal – closer than she ex­pected.

“It was lit­er­ally in my yard,” Badur said of the Wed­nes­day night in­ci­dent. “We have a big back yard. My hus­band and I were out­side paint­ing our porch. A neigh­bor came run­ning over with a gun ask­ing if we had seen the bear and said, “I shot at it.”

Tak­ing a break from paint­ing, Badur talked with her hus­band and the neigh­bor about his sight­ing.

“I was sit­ting on the rail­ing and my hus­band grabs my arm and points,” she said. “The bear was not even 20 feet be­hind me.”

“He was grunt­ing and stuff. It was so close,” she said.

The bear ran back into the forested area and dis­ap­peared.

“It made its way onto Dogwood. I heard two shots,” Badur said.

Maryland Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources of­fi­cials will nei­ther con­firm nor deny it’s the same bear that mi­grated into Elk­ton from Delaware on May 20.

“It’s very plau­si­ble it’s the same bear,” said Harry Spiker, DNR bear bi­ol­o­gist. “They can cover a lot of ground in a day.”

Prior to th­ese new en­coun­ters, the bear was seen by the pub­lic at the Route 22 gate at Aberdeen Prov­ing Ground. Se­cu­rity staff at the Har­ford County in­stal­la­tion re­ported the bear just lum­bered through the gate in the pre- dawn hours last month.

Tues­day night, the sight­ings in the Elk­ton area be­gan anew. The bear was seen along Blue Ball and Singerly Roads. On Wed­nes­day night, the bear – which Spiker sus­pects is a ju­ve­nile male – was seen near his orig­i­nal spots along Singerly Road.

Au­thor­i­ties have re­peat­edly warned res­i­dents to rein in trash cans, bird feed­ers and small pets to re­duce the food sources for the bears. Also, do not ap­proach the bear or tr y to en­gage it. Killing a bear in Ce­cil County is il­le­gal.

“The Ce­cil County Sher­iff’s Of­fice is not tak­ing any ac­tion un­less it’s ag­gres­sive,” said Lt. Mike Holmes, CCSO spokesman.

Adult male bears are ter­rito- rial and will drive away younger ri­vals. Spiker said th­ese ju­ve­nile bears are just wan­der­ing.

“It’s not un­usual for a bear to be go­ing out on its own to find his own piece of land,” Spiker said.

Badur said she was happy to have the ex­pe­ri­ence of see­ing the bear, but wished it hadn’t come that close.

“It wasn’t ag­gres­sive or any­thing,” she noted.

“I work for a pest con­trol com­pany. I called my boss and said, “Ya got any bear traps?,” she said, laugh­ing. “That’s def­i­nitely the clos­est I’ve ever been to a bear.”

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