Bear hanging out in tree in Chesterfield

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A bear sighting has one Chesterfield neighborhood buzzing with excitement and concern. The animal was spotted  Wednesday afternoon in a tree at Clifton farms subdivision --that's near Hull Street Road and Genito.

It's the talk of the neighborhood.

"We all came outside and started looking in the tree," said resident Melissa Patterson.

The view caught Becky Ashley off guard.

"You go to Maymont and expect to see things like that you don't expect to see it in your neighbor's yard," said Ashley.

A young bear between 60 and 80 pounds up high hanging out in a tree.

Abby Patterson: "He was kind of big and black and he looked scared."
Nicole Bell:  Were you scared for him?"
Abby Patterson: "Yes."
Nicole Bell: "Why?"
Abby Patterson: "Because a little baby bear shouldn't be out alone without her momma."

Investigators say the animal is gearing up for hibernation and the smell of food likely led him here. For now, up in that tree is where the animal will stay until it decides to come down.

"We're not looking to tranquilize it because it's so high in the tree. We think the best bet would be to get people out of the area and make it as quite as possible," said Ivan Kopelove with Game and Inland Fisheries.

Folks in the neighborhood are being asked to bring their pets and pet food inside. Some who live here are worried that the young bear's mom is lurking but responders say that's unlikely.

"I think it most likely on its own and wandered off course," said Kopelove.

For now, neighbors are hoping the bear makes it back to where is should be safely.

"I think it's kind of neat. I hope he gets down okay." said Patterson.

Responders say they expect the bear will be gone by the time the sun comes up.

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