The number of bears to die on Maryland roads during 2012 has risen to 34.
On Sept. 29, a 52-pound female bear cub was struck and killed on state Route 560 in Garrett County one-half mile north of the West Virginia line at Gorman.
On Sept. 30, a male bear weighing 141 pounds died on Interstate 68 near Jeffries Road in eastern Allegany County.
A week ago in Bear Watch, we reported that a radio-collared sow was killed on U.S. Route 219 near the Maryland State Police barrack at McHenry. The Maryland Wildlife Service has an extensive biography of that bear, according to Biologist Harry Spiker.
• Born in 1999 to a former research sow, she was tagged in a rock den located in McHenry. This cub was one in a litter of four.
• The sow was captured in 2007 near the same location where she met her demise. We attached a GPS collar and learned that her home range essentially stretched from McHenry to Friendsville. This bear tended to stay in remote areas and avoid developed locations.
• In a den near Sang Run in March 2008, she had four cubs.
• In 2010 (year of the big snow), she denned in rocks in the Sang Run area and gave birth to multiple cubs. The heavy snowmelt drowned all of the cubs. We were unable to determine exactly how many cubs were in the litter.
• In 2011 she denned in a deep rock crevice and gave birth to three cubs.
• Her radio collar failed shortly thereafter and we had lost contact with her, although I had a trail cam picture forwarded to me that was likely her this past July.
• She was 13 when struck and killed and weighed 210 pounds. Interestingly, she was struck by a vehicle approximately one-half mile south of where her maternal sow perished from a vehicle strike in 2001. That sow was 16 when she died.
To report bear incidents in Allegany County, call the Maryland Wildlife Service at 301-777-2136. In Garrett County, call 301-334-4255.