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

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick speaks during an NFL football news conference at Gillette Stadium, on Saturday in Foxborough, Mass. Belichick defended the team against allegations they had cheated by using underinflated footballs in a championship game.

Patriots’ Coach: Team ‘Followed Rules’ On Inflation Of Footballs

Bill Belichick says that after an exhaustive investigation he determined that temperature differences between the locker room and the field inadvertently caused the discrepancies.


Crew members carry a bag containing the body believed to be a victim of AirAsia Flight 8501 to a waiting helicopter on the deck of Indonesian Navy ship KRI Banda Aceh, on the Java Sea, Indonesia, on Friday.

First Attempt To Lift AirAsia Fuselage Fails

Ropes supporting the core piece of wreckage as it was lifted from the sea floor snapped just as the fuselage neared the surface, officials say.


A passerby watches a TV news program reporting two Japanese hostages, Kenji Goto, left, and Haruna Yukawa, held by the Islamic State group, in Tokyo, on Friday.

Video Purports To Show Beheaded Japanese Hostage

The unconfirmed video was released after a deadline to pay a $200 million ransom for the lives of Kenji Goto and Haruna Yakawa passed. It appears to change the Islamic State kidnappers’ demands.


Ukrainian servicemen stand guard on a street near the burning building after a shelling by pro-Russian rebels of a residential sector in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, on Saturday.

Ukraine Rebel Leader Claims New Attack On Mariupol

The attack follows a rebel rocket barrage that hit an open-air market in the port city, killing at least 15 civilians.


A woman cadet of National Cadet Corps (NCC) walks past the saluting base during the full dress rehearsal for Republic Day rehearsals in Kolkata, India, on Saturday. President Obama will be the chief guest at the parade.

Obama To Cut Short India Visit For Stop In Saudi Arabia

The president will shave one day from the planned three-day visit to India to make room in his schedule to visit the new Saudi king in Riyadh.


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