Cumberland Times-News

Latest news

July 3, 2013

Bear killed in Westernport

WESTERNPORT — A bear that had been hanging around Westernport for more than a month because people were feeding it was shot and killed by Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service personnel Tuesday night after an attempt to tranquilize it failed.

“We got a call after dark Tuesday that the bear was walking around town,” said Biologist Harry Spiker. “People had put trash out for pickup the next day. A group was closely following the bear and watching it as it looked for trash.”

When Spiker and his crew arrived, the 172-pound male bear was in a strip of woods between Hammond Street and state Route 36. “I think it’s belly was full and it was resting,” Spiker said. “It allowed me to get within 25 feet before it started snapping its jaws. It had lost all fear of people.”

Spiker shot the bear with a drug dart.

“It takes 15 to 20 minutes for the drug to take effect, but this time the drug didn’t work at all,” he said.

The initial plan had been to use dogs to chase the bear out of town, but because of the residential setting, that idea was abandoned.

“After the dart hit we could hear the bear running through the woods and it crossed Route 36 and ran up Georges Creek for about a quarter mile into a very thick area where the dogs treed it and it was euthanized (by gunshot).”

This bear was known in town.

“We had reports of people hand feeding it,” Spiker said. “We know that kids tossed hot dogs to it.”

Clarissa Harris, also of WHS, said the bear worked Westernport from the old Bruce High School on one end to Westernport Road on the other, often in the daytime.

“This proves the adage that a fed bear is a dead bear,” Spiker said.

This bear had been aversively conditioned twice by Natural Resources Police this year, meaning it was hit with pepper spray and rubber buckshot in an effort to change its behavior.

Concern in the community was such that on Monday Spiker and Regional Manager Jim Mullan spoke at the city council meeting about the situation.

Intentionally feeding a bear is illegal. Convictions can result in a fine of $1,500 for a first offense and $4,000 for subsequent offenses along with jail time of up to one year.

This was the first bear euthanized in Maryland this year. In 2012, six were put down.

“A bear doesn’t have to be aggressive to hurt somebody,” Spiker said. “An animal that size, if it bumps somebody an injury can result. Public safety trumps everything else.”

Contact Michael A. Sawyers at msawyers@times-news.com.

1
Text Only
Latest news
  • Redman.asp.jpeg Moorefield man jailed on felony drug count

    KEYSER, W. Va. — A Moorefield man was arrested on various charges Thursday, including a felony drug offense for possession of amphetamines, according to the Keyser Police Department.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • City woman charged in domestic call

    CUMBERLAND — A city woman was arrested Thursday evening after Cumberland Police investigated a domestic assault complaint in the 100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.

    April 18, 2014

  • Carlton.jpg Arrest made in alleged drug deal

    CUMBERLAND — A 25-year-old city man was arrested Thursday night after Cumberland Police observed him allegedly taking part in a drug deal on Columbia Street.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff warns of scams targeting taxpayers

    CUMBERLAND — Allegany County Sheriff Craig Robertson cautioned residents Thursday to be aware of continuing telephone scams that are targeting taxpayers.

    April 17, 2014

  • DSC_0446.JPG Oakland returns to normal after tanker accident

    OAKLAND — Nearly 12 hours after a propane tanker overturned in the heart of its business district, the town of Oakland returned to normal early Wednesday night.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • New River Gorge bald eagle dies from injuries

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A female bald eagle that nested in the New River Gorge has died from injuries suffered last month when she was hit by a train and later by a vehicle.
     

    April 17, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
     

    April 17, 2014

  • Park Service opens Canal Classrooms Park Service opens Canal Classrooms

    CUMBERLAND – The National Park Service held a ribbon-cutting event Wednesday for a new program called Canal Classrooms, which will offer students pre-K through fifth grade accredited classwork on the Canal Place grounds.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • City, county officials to talk baseball at work session

    CUMBERLAND — During today’s Allegany County Commission work session, a proposal to study the possibility of bringing a professional-level baseball team to the area will be vetted again, this time with participants from the city of Cumberland.

    April 17, 2014

  • EversolCody004.jpg Cody Eversole named Kelley Award winner

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Keyser High School senior Cody Eversole was named this year’s J. Edward Kelley Award winner during a ceremony Wednesday morning at Potomac State College.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads
NDN Video
Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station My name is Cocaine Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN
NDN Video
Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station My name is Cocaine Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN