nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
      Archives | Subscribe

Local News arrow Ryan Cornell

| 0

Better be aware: Bears at large

A black bear is shown in area woods. Area residents have encountered bears rummaging through trash cans and raiding bird feeders this summer. Rich Cooley/Daily file (Buy photo)

By Ryan Cornell

One of the best perks about living in the valley also is one drawback for many area residents: the frequent presence of wildlife, including black bears, on their property.

While Virginia's black bear population has increased over the past few years and residential development has continued to cut into their habitats, more homeowners are receiving unexpected visits from these backwoods neighbors.

Lee Walker, outreach director for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, said bears are reported in nearly every Virginia county, especially areas near the Shenandoah National Park, Dismal Swamp and George Washington and Jefferson National forests.

"Not a day goes by without a report," he said. "When we remove their habitats, that forces them into smaller spaces and gives them more opportunities to spread to urban areas."

He said the bears are looking for an easy meal by raiding trash cans and bird feeders -- bird feed is like candy to them, he said.

"You remove the food source and you'll force that bear to search somewhere else," Walker said. "He has no reason to be there now."

He suggested people keep their garbage and pet food indoors, remove their birdfeeders and clean their barbecue grills, which will attract bears that smell the leftover grease and fat.

These black bears are less likely to attack humans than the brown bears and grizzly bears that live in the West, but Walker said he's had reports of bears trying to break into the windows of cabins and cottages at Massanutten Resort. He said he had to remind campers to seal their food.

Because bears are a hunted species, the department uses hunting as a tool to help manage the population. People can learn more about dealing with black bears at the VDGIF website, dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/bear/living-with-black-bears.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com

Keep up to date on local news

Sign up here to receive Northern Virginia Daily news delivered to your email box each morning and when breaking news occurs.


Comments that are posted represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com. View our comments/submisssions policy. Report abuse by clicking the X next to the comment.

Local News Sections

Agency on Aging Agriculture Alex Bridges Apple Blossom Festival Aviation Basye Berryville Boyce Breaking News Briefs Business Charities Civil War Clarke County Colleges Corrections Courthouse Notes: Permits, Transactions Courts & Legal News Crime & Public Safety Economy and Jobs Edinburg Education Edward N. Bell Election 2012 Entertainment Environment Fairs & Festivals Fire & Rescue Fishers Hill Fort Valley Frederick County Front Royal George Washington National Forest Guest Column Hard Times Health History Holidays Homes In The Spotlight Jeff Nations Joe Beck Josette Keelor Kim Walter Ledger Livestock Local Markets Maurertown Media Middletown Military & Veterans Moms Mount Jackson New Market Page County Pets & Animals Politics Progress 2013 Quicksburg Religion Rockingham County RSW Jail Ryan Cornell School News Shenandoah County Shenandoah Farms Volunteer Fire Department Star Tannery State Stephens City Steven A. Boyce Strasburg Toms Brook Traffic & Transportation Utilities Valley 911 Warren County Weather West Virginia Winchester Woodstock Year in Review

News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Classifieds
Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Comments/Submissions Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

2013 Virginia Press Association Sweepstakes Winner
The Best Small Daily Newspaper in Virginia!

nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com