It’s the season for bear sightings in Fairfax County

A black bear was spotted in Fairfax County on Saturday, April 26. (Courtesy Fairfax County Police Department)

WASHINGTON — After a black bear was spotted Saturday at a Vienna, Va. home, Fairfax County police are advising residents to take precautions to avoid attracting bears.

Police received the first seasonal report of a bear sighting at noon on Saturday, April 26 from a Vienna resident who spotted a bear in his backyard, according to the news release.

The resident’s home is located behind the Dulles Toll Road, where a bear was also struck Saturday morning.

It is unknown whether the bear in the resident’s backyard is the same one that was struck, police say.

During this time of the year, it is not uncommon to see a black bear in the area, according to Animal Control officers. Black bears are generally afraid of coming into contact with humans and are mainly looking for food, Animal Control officers say.

Although Animal Control won’t take bears away from neighborhoods unless the bears are injured or threaten public safety, police advise residents to take the following measures to avoid attracting wildlife:

  • Keep trash inside the house. Avoid storing trash outside the home or in the car.
  • Take out the trash the morning of trash pickup instead of the night before.
  • Don’t leave bird feeders outside if a bear is sighted nearby.
  • Consider installing electric fences around the yard to keep bears from coming in.

If you see an injured black bear or believe a black bear may pose a danger, call Fairfax County Animal Control at 703-691-2131.

WTOP’s Omama Altaleb contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and on WTOP Facebook page.

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