According to various news outlets, a bear killed two ponies near Clear Spring in Washington County sometime between July 7 and July 9. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources was contacted by a resident of the area on Monday (July 9) afternoon saying that two of their neighbor’s ponies had been killed by a bear near Mummert Road. Authorities were called in and according to Clarissa Harris of the Wildlife & Heritage Service, a 204-lb male bear was tracked and captured in the area.

As it could not be confirmed that it was the same bear that killed the ponies, the bear was subjected to pepper spray and loud noises to discourage it from returning to the area. The bear was then tagged and released in the Indian Spring Wildlife Management Area this week.

Harry Spiker, bear biologist for the Wildlife & Heritage Service, was called to the scene to confirm the kills. He believes this is an isolated event which most likely happened when the bear came across the ponies in an enclosed area. According to Spiker, bears do not typically attack horses or ponies because they mostly eat vegetation but may attack when the opportunity arises.