McLean black bear seen eating from bird feeder

WASHINGTON — There were two separate bear sightings in residential areas of McLean, Virginia Wednesday morning, including one who was feasting on a resident’s bird feeder, reports the Fairfax County Police Department.

The reports came about three hours apart from homes a few miles away from each other.  The second report, which came at about 9:30 a.m., said that the bear appeared to be moving into Scott’s Run Nature Preserve.

Animal Control officers and the Fairfax County Wildlife Management Specialist say that it is not unusual to see black bears this time of year.  Unless the animal is in distress or there is a public safety concern, animal control officers will not remove a bear from a neighborhood.

While bears typically try to avoid humans, their search for food can lead them into residential areas.  The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has a few tips for keeping bears (and other creatures) out of your yard this summer:

1. Remove the food source.

2. Don’t store household trash, or anything that smells like food, in vehicles, or on porches or decks.

3. Keep your trash containers secured in a garage, shed, or basement.

4. Take your garbage to the dump frequently.

5. Put your trash out the morning of the pickup, not the night before.

6. Take down your bird feeder for three to four weeks after the bear visits.

For more tips and information, visit the Virginia DGIF website.

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