City Cast

Why Are Bears Everywhere In DC?

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on June 29
Franklin sitting in a tree in Brookland.

Franklin sitting poised in a tree in Brookland. (Dan Rauch/DOEE)

Bears are on the loose in D.C. They’ve been spotted in Rockville, Hyattsville, Arlington, Roosevelt Island, AND Brookland, where neighbors called animal control about a bear they named Franklin, after the street where he was roaming.

Why so many bears!?

According to Lauren Crossed from the Humane Rescue Alliance, it’s mating season, so they’re searching for mates and exploring new territories. Crossed also speculates that these sightings indicate an increase in healthy bears in the area.

What should I do if I see a bear?

Give them space (a.k.a. don’t try and take a selfie with them)! Most black bears will run away. But if they are too close, try banging pots and pans, raising your arms, and backing away slowly (don’t run!). The only exception if they are sick or injured. Then, call animal control.

Bear in a tree

Franklin looking forlorn. (Dan Rauch/DOEE)

How do you catch a bear?

Sometimes animal experts have to intervene, like when Franklin got trapped in a tree. Experts waited for him to come down, sedated him with a dart, checked his vitals, and loaded him into a cage for transport. “With Franklin, a lot of parties had to help, and we had to get permission to release him. You can't just dump a bear anywhere,” said Crossed.

Get more grizzly details on Monday’s City Cast DC episode.

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