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Family sights black bear on Weverton Road

June 17, 2006|by TARA REILLY

KNOXVILLE

Mary Dailey said that she thought her 24-year-old stepson was "full of it" when he told her he saw a black bear Thursday night on Weverton Road in Knoxville.

So Dailey grabbed a flashlight and checked for herself.

"You could hear him plodding around," said Dailey, who lives in a wooded area about one-half mile from the Appalachian Trail.

She spotted the bear about 10 p.m.

The bear, which she guessed was a growing cub, reportedly also was seen tearing down a bird feeder from a pole. The bear was about 5 to 6 feet tall when standing up, she said. She feared that if it were a cub, the mother bear could be close by.

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"It was a little frightening," Dailey said.

Dailey explained that her stepson, Joseph Dangler, was in the driveway washing the car when the bear walked toward him. As he opened the car door, the bear ran back across the street, where it hung out for some time.

She said the family brought its garbage cans indoors and made sure there was nothing on the property that would attract the bear.

She could hear her neighbors yelling for people to get in the house, she said.

Dailey said she would like neighbors and Appalachian Trail users to keep an eye out for bears.

What should you do if you encounter a bear?

Stay calm and don't run away from it, according to a fact sheet from Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The department recommends that people don't crowd the bear's personal space, back away and leave the area without making eye contact. Bears might perceive eye contact as a threat.

Black bear attacks are rare, according to the department, and there are no known cases of a human attack in Maryland.

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