Bear sightings on the rise - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Bear sightings on the rise

Bear on Interstate 64 and Gaskins Road Bear on Interstate 64 and Gaskins Road
CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

People in a Chesterfield neighborhood are keeping an extra eye out after several calls about a bear. It was seen roaming around Friday morning.

But this was not the only bear sighting that day.

Police said a car accidentally hit and killed another bear on Interstate 64 and Gaskins Road in Henrico.

Wildlife experts said this is the time of year when young bears separate from their mothers.  That's why there are so many bear sightings.

"Shocked. Absolutely shocked," Ascia Newman said when she found out a bear was seen in her Chesterfield neighborhood.

"Well I'm a little frightened," said Beth Krugerud, who also lives in the neighborhood.

Police received three calls about the bear that was seen on Summerford Drive in Chesterfield.  But by the time police arrived, they were told it went back into the woods.

Neighbors said the animal was about 200 pounds. Ann Beauchemin walks her dog around the area every day.

"My husband said be very careful because I walk through those woods as I walk missy," she said.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said people need to be cautious.  Many of these bears are young and not used to being on their own. The best way to keep the animals away is to not leave any type of food outside. Experts also said this is the time of the year when the food supply is low.

That's another reason why the animals may venture into neighborhoods near wooded areas.

Now people living in this neighborhood say they will be extra cautious.

"My hope is the dog's barking will keep the bear away," said Krugerud.

Wildlife experts say black bears are not aggressive, but you should not approach one.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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