- The Washington Times - Friday, June 15, 2001

Emergency room staff at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital say they try to be ready for anything, but they werent expecting the black bear that showed up at their doors yesterday.
No one was hurt, but the bear walked in front of a nurses car as she was driving through the emergency-department parking lot in Rockville shortly before 6 a.m., said hospital spokesman Cheryl McKy.
Several other hospital employees saw the bear as it passed by the emergency-room doors and through a staff parking lot during a shift change, she said.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police spent several hours looking for the bear — whom they believe is a young male. They looked in large culvert pipes and other areas where he may have sought shelter to sleep during the day, but didnt locate him, said DNR spokesman John Surrick.
But the bears amble through the hospital campus was not the first bear sighting in Montgomery County this week, Mr. Surrick said.
Three bear sightings were reported in the Tuckerman Lane area between Bethesda and Rockville on Tuesday.
Bears, particularly young males sent out to live on their own in the spring, sometimes wander into the suburbs as they seek to establish their own territory.
But they usually pose little threat to humans, whom they generally prefer to avoid, Mr. Surrick said.
But if bears have been sighted in a community a few times, its a good idea not to leave pet food out, bring in bird feeders and secure the covers of garbage cans, he said.
Last June, a pickup truck struck and killed a 350-pound black bear as it tried to cross the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. In August, construction workers reported seeing what they thought was a bear near Arundel Mills Mall. Sightings have increased in the suburbs and have become numerous in Western Maryland, where the bear population is estimated at about 400, far more than the 20 or so there in the 1950s.
Anyone who feels threatened by a bear should call 911, Mr. Surrick said. Otherwise, DNR would like sightings reported to it. DNRs Montgomery County office can be reached by dialing 301/258-7308.
This article is based in part on wire service reports

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