The number of bears that have died on Maryland highways in 2009 jumped to 32 with the demise of four bruins Oct. 9-13, according to Clarissa Harris of the Maryland Wildlife Service. The Cumberland Times-News count is unofficial.
On Oct. 9, a 101-pound female bear died on Interstate 68 in the Friendsville area.
On Oct. 11, two bears were killed, a 148-pound female on I-68 near the Finzel exit in Garrett County and a female of 72 pounds on I-68 near Little Orleans in Allegany County.
Then on Oct. 13, a 338-pound male bear was struck and mangled on state Route 36 at Barton. The bear was eventually put down by Natural Resources Police.
The covers on three operating hot tubs have been ripped open by bears in the Deep Creek Lake area. Harris said she believes the bears become curious about the sound of the motor and the moving water and investigate with their claws.
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