Dept. of Wildlife Resources reminds Virginians that bears are more active in spring

Dept. of Wildlife Resources reminds Virginians that bears are more active in spring
Black bears (Source: Wildlife Center of Virginia)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Department of Wildlife Resources is reminding Virginians that bears are more active in the springtime.

DWR said that black bears are emerging from their winter dens and are looking for an easy meal.

Homeowners are urged to make sure all potential food sources for bears, such as garbage, grills, birdfeeders, are secure so that it limits the chances of a bear encounter.

“The goal is to make human sources of food harder for a bear to get than what nature provides – especially food that is high in fat and calories,” says Nelson Lafon, Forest Wildlife Program Manager for the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources.

DWR said homeowners should take the following steps to avoid attracting black bears:

  • Secure Garbage: Keep in a locked shed or inside until collected or use a bear-resistant container.
  • Takedown birdfeeders. For tips on attracting birds, not bears: bearwise.org/store/BearWise-Bulletin-1-Attract-Birds-Not-Bears-p318789683
  • Secure pet and/or livestock feed in bear-resistant containers or inside locked sheds.
  • Clean up porches/decks: Clean grills, remove any potential food sources and remember a screened-in porch is not a “secure” storage area from a bear’s point of view.
  • Never leave food, trash, or pet/livestock feed inside your vehicle.

“By following these steps, people can prevent most problems with bears,” said Lafon. “Our staff responds to hundreds of situations involving bears every year, and most are due to these attractants.”

For more information on black bears in Virginia, click here.

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