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Black bear believed roaming Clear Spring area

May 16, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

CLEAR SPRING - A black bear that killed a pet goat early Friday morning could be the same bear that was in the Indian Springs area on Sunday, a wildlife official said.

"They do roam a lot," said George Timko with the Wildlife and Heritage Division of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The bear was seen knocking over a garbage barrel around 5:45 a.m. in a yard at 12309 Four Locks Road before it got into a fenced-in area and killed the Mellott family's 2-year-old goat, according to Timko and Peggy Mellott.

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The bear also knocked over bird feeders for food, Timko said.

It was bird feed that probably attracted the bear to an Indian Springs area yard on Sunday, he said. Sunflower seed, corn and thistle seed were scattered around the yard.

"Essentially, he was baiting the bear in, not knowing it," Timko said.

While the bear was not seen on Sunday, it left droppings behind, he said.

Black bears typically do not attack livestock, but they have an acute sense of smell, which might have drawn it to the bird seed, according to Timko.

"Definitely don't feed your pets outdoors," Timko said. Or feed them just enough to eat each day and clean up what's left.

If the food attracts any kind of wildlife, such as raccoons, it has the potential to attract a bear, he said.

Residents cooking outdoors should also put their gas grills indoors or clean them up so the odor doesn't attract bears, he said.

Residents who encounter bears should back off slowly and get indoors, Timko said.

If the bear starts to approach a person, the best thing to do is yell and throw things, he said. Bears are afraid of loud noises.

Anyone who spots a bear should call the Department of Natural Resources at 301-842-2702.

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