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Black bear spotted at Hartfield

by Tom Chillemi

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Black bears are not aggressive and they normally fear humans. (Photo courtesy of Metro Creative Connection)

A black bear was sighted by two Hartfield neighbors in the 12000 block of General Puller Highway (Route 33) near Stamper’s Bay Road on Monday, June 29, reported Middlesex Animal Control Officer Ricky Warren.

The neighbors reported the bear sightings independently. The bear was seen about 8:30 p.m. near the people’s trash cans, and the bear ran away when it saw the people, said Warren
Black bears are not aggressive and they normally fear humans. “If you encounter a bear, it’s best to back away slowly and let it leave,” said Warren.

Bears hunting is regulated and killing one is not permitted unless a life is in danger, said Warren.

As the state’s bear population grows, they are being seen more in the eastern part of the state, said Warren. Sightings are more common when natural sources of food, such as nuts and berries, become scarce.

Residents should keep trash cans secure and take trash to the dump often.

The bears’ favorite targets include bird feeders, garbage and pet food, but grills, livestock food, compost, and beehives can also attract them, according to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website.

For more information, visit http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/bear/living-with-black-bears.asp.

posted 06.30.2009

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