The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is warning Tri-State area residents not to feed or approach black bears, which are growing in number across the region.
Bears usually are no threat to humans unless they are harassed, pursued, cornered or have cubs with them, DNR officials said.
About 300 black bears live in Maryland, primarily in western Allegany and Garrett counties, they said. The bears' range is part of a larger Southern Appalachian Mountain region that includes parts of West Virginia and Pennsylvania, they said.
Black bears are shy by nature but become increasingly active in the spring and early summer when older males wander long distances in search of mates, and young bears are chased away by their mothers to find homes of their own, DNR officials said.