About a dozen sightings of black bears have been reported recently along Interstate 81, according to officials with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
According to Harry Spiker, black bear project leader for the DNR, a bear was spotted as recently as Monday at Ryan's Family Steak House off U.S. 40 on Hagerstown's west side.
"We're just into the peak of the breeding season, so bears are roaming far and wide," Spiker said Wednesday. "Male bears will spend more of their time looking for females than they will asleep."
Members of the Hagerstown Police Department, Maryland State Police and Washington County 911 Center all reported sightings last week.
Both Spiker and Karina Blizzard, associate director of information and education for the Wildlife and Heritage Service, said the bears ordinarily pose no risk to humans.