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Are There Bears In Maryland 


Bears are both feared and beloved creatures, with a long and fascinating history. Native to Maryland, these massive animals have been known to attack humans and other animals, but they are also a popular symbol of strength and power. In recent years, the bear population in Maryland has been on the rise, leading to more encounters with humans. Therefore, it is important to learn more about these fascinating creatures in order to coexist peacefully. Here are some interesting facts about are there bears in Maryland and facts that you may not know. 

Black Bears

are there bears In maryland

Bears are the largest land mammals in North America, and they can weigh up to 600 pounds. Although they are mostly found in wooded areas, they will also venture into populated areas in search of food. In Maryland, the most common type of bear is the black bear, which is distinguished by its black fur and large size. 


These bears are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals. Up to 85% of their diet consists of vegetation, including fruits, nuts, acorns, and greens. The rest of their diet is made up mainly of insects, with smaller amounts of mammals, birds, and carrion. In the spring and summer months, when plants are most abundant, black bears consume large quantities of food to build up fat reserves for the lean winter months. During this time, they may travel long distances in search of food and can lose up to 20% of their body weight.


Maryland is home to a variety of wildlife, including black bears. These bears typically live in forested areas, where they can find food and shelter. Black bears usually build their homes in trees, using twigs, leaves, and branches to create dens. Bears are active mostly at night and spend most of their time eating or resting.

bear in open

Size & Weight

Black bears in Maryland typically weigh between 150 and 400 pounds, with males averaging about 20% larger than females. Their bodies measure 3 to 5 feet long, and they stand 2 to 3 feet tall at the shoulder. However, some individuals may reach weights of over 600 pounds. Males typically range from 6.5 to 8 feet long, while females usually measure 5.5 to 7 feet in length.


Bear populations in Maryland are healthy and diverse, with bears of all colours living in the state. Black bears are the most common type of bear found in Maryland, but brown bears and cinnamon bears can also be spotted in the wild. Bears typically have two colour phases – a lighter phase and a darker phase – but some individual bears may be born with only one colour phase. 

The colours of a bear’s coat can provide important clues about its health and diet. A bear with a healthy coat of fur is more likely to be able to withstand cold temperatures than a bear with a thinner coat. Also, the colour of a bear’s Fur can provide information about its diet. A bear with a diet rich in berries and other fruits will often have reddish-brown fur, while a bear that eats mostly fish will have darker fur. 


Black bears typically live around 20 years in the wild. However, some individuals have been known to live much longer. One black bear was even documented as living to the ripe old age of 32! 

In Maryland, black bears typically mate in June and July. Cubs are born in early January and are typically weaned by late summer. Female black bears usually only have two cubs at a time, but litters of three and four are not uncommon. Males play no role in raising their young. Bears are active mostly at night and spend most of their time eating or resting.


The black bear is the largest land predator in Maryland. Though they are typically shy and reclusive animals, they can be dangerous if provoked. Their main predators are humans, though they may also fall prey to other large predators such as wolves and cougars. In areas where human activity is high, black bears often become accustomed to people and lose their natural fear of them. This can lead to conflict, as bears may raid trash cans or steal food from campsites. In some cases, these bears may even attack people.

Where are bears located in Maryland?

There are two species of bears found in Maryland: the black bear and the grizzly bear. The black bear is by far the most common, with populations located in nearly every county in the state. Grizzlies, on the other hand, are much rarer, with only a few confirmed sightings in recent years. However, it is believed that there may be a small population of grizzlies living in Garrett County, near the border with West Virginia. In general, bears tend to avoid human settlements and can be found in wooded areas or near streams and ponds. As such, they are often seen in state parks or other undeveloped areas. 

bear with garbage

Are there wild bears in Maryland?

Black bears are the most commonly seen, and they can be found in all counties across the state. However, sightings of grizzly and polar bears are also not unheard of. In fact, just last year a family in Garrett County reported seeing a grizzly bear roaming through their backyard. While it is unlikely that you will encounter a bear while out hiking in Maryland, it is always important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions when travelling in bear country.

Do grizzly bears live in Maryland?

Though grizzly bears are not currently found in Maryland, they did once inhabit the state. Historical records show that grizzlies were present in the Appalachian Mountains as late as the early 1800s. However, due to habitat loss and hunting pressure, grizzlies were largely wiped out of the region by the mid-19th century. Today, the only populations of grizzlies in the eastern United States are found in North Carolina and Tennessee. Therefore, it is very unlikely that one would encounter a grizzly bear in Maryland.

bear with trashcan

What to do if you encounter a black bear.

Bears are innately shy and will typically avoid contact with humans. However, if they feel threatened or cornered, they may attack. For this reason, it is important to be cautious when you encounter a bear in the wild. If you see a bear, do not approach it or attempt to feed it. Instead, make yourself as small as possible and slowly back away

Final Words

Maryland is home to a healthy population of black bears. These intelligent and adaptable animals are found in all parts of the state, from the mountains to the coast. Although they are mostly active at night, black bears can often be seen during the day, especially in the spring and fall.  Black bears are typically shy and reclusive animals, but they will occasionally venture into residential areas in search of food. While they are not typically aggressive towards people, black bears can be dangerous if they feel threatened. Therefore, it is important for Maryland residents to be aware of the presence of these animals and take steps to avoid encounters. 



Author Profile
Zahra Makda
Wildlife Enthusiast | Explorer at Animals Research

Growing up enjoying the beauty of my village, a good passion for nature developed in me from childhood. Following my passion for the natural world, I have chosen zoology for my graduation, during my undergraduate degree, I participated in many nature trails, bird watching, rescues, training for wildlife conservation, workshop, and seminars on biodiversity. I have a keen interest in invertebrate biology, herpetology, and ornithology. Primary interests include studies on taxonomy, ecology, habitat and behavior.

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