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State wildlife officials say black bears are largely vegetarians and attacks are extremely rare. In Maryland, there are no known cases of a black bear attacking a human.


Daycare center closed amid abuse reports

State officials have closed a Dundalk daycare center for 30 days while reports of abuse are investigated.

Baltimore County police said a former employee at Jack and Jill Child Care Center contacted police to report that a child had been bound by tape at the center and that children were put into a dark basement.

A police spokesman said investigators have identified a 4-year-old who was taped to a chair or cot, but no charges have been filed against daycare providers.

An official with the state Department of Education’s Office of Child Care said staff found enough evidence during an inspection this week to warrant the closure after receiving a report of possible abuse.

The operator has 72 hours to appeal the 30-day closure.


Dolphin count finds fewer off coast

An annual dolphin count in Ocean City turned up 17 dolphins along the resort coastline Wednesday, down sharply from the 158 dolphins spotted last year.

Officials with the Baltimore National Aquarium, which holds the dolphin census every year, said the drop likely was nothing to be alarmed about. The count is usually done in July. This year, it was held before many dolphins start migrating.

About 30 volunteers joined aquarium staff to search for dolphins for three hours along 26 miles of coast.

“All of the animals found stranded on Eastern Shore beaches are migratory,” said Hillary Bates, aquarium spokeswoman. “We are really interested in their migration pattern. It’s a barometer of their population.”

The dolphin count is not scientific. But officials say it helps gauge whether the Ocean City channel is still a large migratory route for dolphins.

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