ACCOKEEK, Md. – From multiple bear sightings between Charles County and Arlington County, Virginia, to a turkey recently attacking a cyclist in Washington, DC, the DMV has started seeing unique wildlife wandering about through public lately.
Whether it be foxes, coyotes, bears, or turkeys, it seems the local wildlife of our region has been making their presence much more known. The question is: why is this happening?
According to wildlife experts, one reason is the increased use of cameras, especially phone cameras and security cameras, that are capturing animal sightings much more often.
One video recently posted in a Charles County Facebook group showed a bear wandering around someone’s patio in Accokeek.
Another video circulating showed a black bear that appeared to have been struck by a vehicle off Route 301. While technology is playing a role in the increase of sightings, the truth of the matter is that the animal population has been gradually growing for the last two decades.
One of the biggest surprises to many people is the increased black bear population, especially considering they were nearly wiped out in the DMV nearly 80 years ago.
While it is a good thing that their population has been restored it does have many people on edge, considering that these are dangerous predators wandering through some of their backyards. Another theory on the increased wildlife sightings involves the COVID-19 lockdowns from two years ago. With everyone staying inside during that time, there were far more wild animals roaming about public areas.
While people may be out and about again, it could be suggested that the animals have gotten more comfortable in this environment near humans. There is also an important detail worth noting regarding the bears, many of them are likely young males. MDNR official Brian Eyler told ABC 7 News, “…when you see these bears… almost always that’s what it is, it’s a young male trying to find a new place to set up a territory.”
To keep the animals away, homeowners are advised not to leave food and trash out in the open on their property and to keep their grills and similar appliances clean. It is also recommended not to hang up bird feeders.
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