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Bear cub tours Fairplay

July 08, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

FAIRPLAY - A 100-pound male bear cub has been roaming the Fairplay area over the past few days, startling and entertaining residents.

Michael Morgan of Keedysville was putting together a swing set with his sons, Lance and Keith, at 17825 Bakersville Road off Sharpsburg Pike at about 7 p.m. Wednesday when they spotted the cub, said Janet Morgan, Lance's mom.

"We said 'that can't be a bear' but it was," she said. "We were just dazed."

The bear made a beeline across the property, moving so fast they did not have time to be scared or surprised.

By 8 p.m. the bear had climbed a tree in the back yard of Michaela Bishop at 18023 Tilghmanton Road.

When she saw the cub, Bishop realized that she has been falsely accusing her dogs, ChiChi the Chihuahua and Rambo the schnauzer, for disturbing her trash cans.

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When she told neighbors that there was a bear in the yard some were skeptical at first, she said. But over the next two hours, about 100 people, many with flashlights, watched the cub in the tree, she said.

Given the lights and the crowd, it's not surprising that the bear stayed up in the tree, said Department of Natural Resources District Manager Donald Rohrback, who went to Bishop's house.

He did not use a tranquilizer dart on the bear because the cub was not harming anyone, Rohrback said.

The cub climbed down from the tree at about 10 p.m. and, with Rohrback following him, ran into a cornfield, Rohrback said.

A cub was spotted again Thursday afternoon near other Fairplay houses.

Jeff Wolfe had just finished mowing his lawn and was making a phone call at about 1:30 p.m. when he saw a bear cub run across the front yard of his 17848 Lappans Road home, he said.

It happened so fast that he didn't have time to be scared, he said. He said he just thought, "There goes a cub."

He does not know where the bear went when it moved beyond his range of vision.

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