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ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- Officials are trying to remove a black bear from a tree near the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Md.

Earlier Monday, police confirmed the sighting of a 150 pound black bear Thursday morning near downtown Rockville, Md.

Police say they are directing the bear away from residential areas and toward rural land in the direction of I-270. The bear does not pose an imminent threat to life or safety, according to officials.

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It is relatively common for black bears to be spotted pushing south into Montgomery County from more rural northern areas, and the local police and animal control personnel have responded to several sightings over the past two years, said Lt. Eric Over in a statement.

"The bear spotted today has made no aggressive movements," Over said. "We just want it to get back to its natural habitat."

If residents see or encounter a black bear, police advise the public to:

  • Notify Rockville Animal Control at 240-314-8900 so it can be tracked.
  • Do not offer any food to the bear.
  • Do not approach or antagonize the bear.
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