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Be bear aware as springtime starts

18 April 2020 News

As springtime rolls in, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is cautioning the public of increased bear activity. Black bears will soon be leaving their dens and searching for food. Make sure that the food they are searching for is not right outside your home. Don’t leave anything that might attract bears out in the open: garbage, compost piles, and pet food, for example. Also avoid storing food in your vehicle. It is vital that bears find natural sources for food as opposed to seeing populated areas as a food source. Bears are naturally cautious of humans, but will overcome their weariness when constantly presented with food, whether intentionally or not.

Black bear cubs will also soon be seen more frequently. If you see any cubs alone by themselves, leave the area immediately. The mother is likely circling the area to check for danger. Never attempt to handle or capture a black bear cub found on your property.

Always exercise caution around wild animals. If a bear has a visible injury, appears mange-infested or has been in the same location for more than 12 hours, please contact the Virginia DGIF Wildlife Conflict Helpline at 1-855-571-9003 or if after normal business hours your local Sheriff’s office.

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