Black bear tranquilized outside Frederick hotel, taken back to the wild

·2 min read

Jun. 3—A Frederick hotel had an unexpected furry guest Friday morning.

A young black bear wandered over to the Hampton Inn at 5311 Buckeystown Pike and checked himself into a tree outside the hotel.

The Department of Natural Resources sent a wildlife response team of biologists and technicians to the scene at about 10 a.m., according to Brian Eyler, a game mammal section leader.

The team placed a specialized tarp below the tree and tranquilized the bear, which was roughly 10 feet up the tree, Eyler said in a phone interview Friday afternoon. There were no injuries.

The bear, a male yearling, was released to the Frederick City Watershed near Gambrill State Park, Eyler said. He estimated the bear weighed about 110 pounds.

Before DNR arrived, the Frederick County Sheriff's Office responded at about 9 a.m. and monitored the bear, according to spokesman Todd Wivell. Deputies cleared the scene after nearly three hours.

Eyler said it is not uncommon to see young bears in odd places, considering the breeding season. This time of year, he said, mother bears tend to run off their offspring. Young males are then forced to find a new home.

"Sometimes it takes them into areas they shouldn't be," Eyler said.

What is less common, however, is tranquilization.

"We don't always respond and remove them," Eyler said.

Ideally, the bear will wander back into the woods. Eyler said DNR gets involved if it suspects the bear has a low chance of safely making it back to the wild.

The bear spotted by the hotel was in a precarious position, near Md. 85 and Interstate 270. Eyler feared the bear could have caused an accident.

Katasha Dorsey was working at the Hampton Inn's front desk while the bear was outside.

"Everyone is safe and sound. We made sure of that," she said in a phone interview.

She's worked at the hotel since 2019 and never saw a bear in the area before Friday.

"This is the most excitement we have," Dorsey said.

Eyler advises residents who encounter bears to give them space.

"[Black] bears generally aren't dangerous," he said. "They don't want anything to do with us, either."

While food was not an apparent factor in Friday morning's situation, Eyler recommends that residents ensure trash is sealed properly and that bird feeders are put away.

People who need to report bear-related emergencies can call DNR at 410-260-8888. Eyler said the agency will evaluate the situation and determine whether a response is needed.

Follow Mary Grace Keller on Twitter: @MaryGraceKeller