What’s lurking in your neighborhood at night? In Prince William County’s Hopewells Landing subdivision, it’s a very large black bear.
He’s warning neighbors to keep their garage doors closed and pets inside.
It’s the time of year when Virginia’s black bears are foraging for food and young bears search for new territory after a long winter’s nap. Prince William’s Animal Control Bureau offers the following tips and suggestions for dealing with hungry bears:
Remove food sources that might attract bears. This includes bird feeders, garbage, pet food, outdoor grills, livestock food, compost, fruit trees and beehives.
Do not store trash – or anything that smells like food – in vehicles, on porches, or decks.
Keep your full or empty trash containers secured in a garage, shed or basement. If you do not have a trash collection service, take your garbage to the Landfill frequently (twice a week or more). If you do have a trash collection service, put your garbage out the morning of the pickup rather than the night before.
Take down your bird feeders temporarily until the bear moves on.
Consider installing electric fencing, an inexpensive and extremely efficient, proven deterrent to bears, around dumpsters, gardens, beehives or other potential food sources.
Bears generally avoid humans but, in their search for food, they do wander into suburban areas. It is best to keep a respectful distance if you see a bear. Bring your pets inside and leave the immediate area.