Bear Spotted in NW Released Into the Wild

Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013  |  Updated 3:33 PM EDT
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PHOTOS: Black Bear Captured in D.C.

Courtesy Washington Humane Society

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A bear spotted in the Spring Valley neighborhood of Northwest D.C. has been returned to his natural habitat.

Residents spotted the 100-pound bear around 8 a.m. Wednesday in the 4900 block of Rockwood Parkway NW, not far from Sibley Memorial Hospital. The animal was later seen running across the manicured lawns of Spring Valley before Animal Control officers were able to tranquilize and remove it.

"The cop said, 'Get in my car... There's a bear loose!'" a resident told News4's Jackie Bensen.

Animal Control officers ran from backyard to backyard as the bear tried to evade them. Metropolitan Police officers blocked some streets and used a loudspeaker to warn residents to use caution.

Around 9:30 a.m., Animal Control officers subdued the bear with a tranquilizer dart after it darted into a thick patch of bamboo in the backyard of a home.

They then carried the sleepy bear in a sling to an Animal Control truck and relocated it into the wild in western Montgomery County, Md.

Video of bear's release into wild:

Homeowner Ellen d'Alelio told News4 in an email that the bear was "chowing down" in her backyard for a little more than an hour.

"Knocked down our bird feeders. Took feeders apart to access the goodies," she wrote. "Had a nice meal of shelled sunflower seeds (feeder 1) and peanuts and suet drops (feeder 2)."

Another witness told Bensen the bear was "at least four or five feet tall." Authorities said it was a young male, about one year old.

This is the first bear sighting reported in D.C. this year, but there have been other sightings recently in Maryland and Virginia.

One bear was seen Tuesday in a neighborhood in Tysons Corner while another was spotted three times in the Gaithersburg area last week.

A resident in Glen Echo Heights saw a black bear on the deck of her home Tuesday. It's not clear if this bear is the same one spotted in Northwest Wednesday, but they appeared to be the same size, Bensen reported.

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