Nation & World News

Black Bear Roams In D.C., Days After Red Panda’s Jaunt

By Bill Chappell on June 26th, 2013

First there was Rusty, the red panda. Now there are reports that a bear was captured after roaming around in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, prompting (mostly unserious) concerns of a possible siege on the nation’s capital.

The bear is described as being about a year old, weighing nearly 100 pounds. It was spotted by a resident Wednesday morning, who called the city’s help hotline. Here’s how that went, according to local news radio WTOP:

“‘It was like, alright, this is Marlon Perkins, yes it is, right here, D.C.,” she says.

“She says when she called 311, the city’s information center, the response on the other end was “”What?! A bear?”

“‘I said, ‘Yes, B-E-A-R. A bear!’”

The news also provoked a response from the National Zoo, which had alerted D.C. residents earlier this week that Rusty, a red panda, had escaped. The zoo used its Twitter feed to keep people up to date on the panda-hunt, as the animal was eventually captured and returned to the facility.

The black bear was in the Spring Valley neighborhood near American University, about 3.5 miles northwest of the Adams Morgan neighborhood where Rusty was captured Monday.

And today, the zoo took the opportunity to emphasize that this bear isn’t their bear — and to disabuse any notions that this black bear might possibly hang out with Rusty someday.

“The black bear sighted in NW DC is not our bear, nor will it be coming to the Zoo,” the National Zoo tweeted.

After a block-by-block search, the bear was located in a stand of bamboo. After being tranquilized, it was wrapped in a tarp and carried to a Washington Humane Society van. According to WTOP, it was released “into the wilderness in Maryland” this afternoon.

“It’s not common, but it’s not unexpected,” the Washington Humane Society’s Scott Giacoppo tells WTOP. “We are in a wooded area, near Rock Creek Park, that’s a thoroughfare for a lot of different wild animals. And, this time of year, they’re looking to find their own territory and resources to survive.”

“Bear sightings have been reported all over our viewing area recently,” reports WUSA TV News. “The Glen Echo Heights Citizens Association said in an email on Tuesday night that a woman spotted a bear on her back deck.”

In case you’re wondering if everyone is conflating bears with red pandas, we should note that the classification of the red panda is a “known issue” among people who study such things. From National Geographic:

“The red panda has given scientists taxonomic fits. It has been classified as a relative of the giant panda, and also of the raccoon, with which it shares a ringed tail. Currently, red pandas are considered members of their own unique family—the Ailuridae.”

We can only presume red pandas would prefer that name to their other, more pejorative, title: “lesser pandas.”

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Vincenzo Nibali First Italian In 15 Years To Win Tour De France

The cyclist had dominated the Tour, wearing the yellow jersey through all but two stages of the grueling three-week competition.


Image released by the U.S. State Department showing what it says is evidence of Russia firing artillery into eastern Ukraine.

U.S.: Satellite Images Show Russian Rockets Hitting Ukraine

The State Department says the photos show burn marks from the firing of multiple rocket launchers inside Russia and resulting craters on the other side of the border.


Hank Johnson displays his Glock handgun, inside his home in Springboro, Ohio. D.C. lawmakers had hoped to maintain a ban on carrying handguns in public, but a district court last week overturned it.

Judges Overturns D.C. Ban On Handguns In Public

A district court judge says the law that prohibited people from carrying handguns outside their homes violates the Second Amendment.


Birth Of 100-Millionth Person In Philippines Greeted With Joy, Concern

Chonalyn, a 6-pound girl, was born Sunday morning in a Manila hospital. But the head of the country’s population commission says it will be a challenge to provide for so many people.


The entrance of the compounds of the U.S. embassy is pictured in Tripoli on Saturday. Fighting continues to rage after the U.S. evacuated the diplomatic facility.

Libyan Conflict Rages After U.S. Shuts Embassy

Fighting in the country’s east has killed at least 38 people since the U.S. on Saturday temporarily closed its embassy in the capital, citing security concerns.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments