Local Wildlife Hero (Editors' Pick)
Paul Peditto, director of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife and Heritage Service
photos via Paul Peditto's Twitter
When an adolescent male black bear scurried a hundred feet up a tree at the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda in June, it was Peditto who flawlessly executed a plan to save it. He scared the bear out with noisemakers, then shot it with tranquilizers as it tried to flee, and finally tracked it until it passed out nearby—all while dozens of news crews and hundreds of spectators looked on. The healthy bear was later released in a wildlife area near the Potomac River in northern Montgomery County.