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Black bear sighting in downtown Richmond

A black bear was spotted at a business on Commerce Road in downtown Richmond
Black bear sighting in Richmond
Black bear sighting in Richmond(WWBT)
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 6:32 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A black bear was spotted at a business on Commerce Road in downtown Richmond.

Machinery Movers and Erectors Inc. sent NBC12 a video of a bear on their property. Workers said they called the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, but no one came to do anything about the bear. The Department of Wildlife Resources said the bear didn’t pose a threat to the public.

“He’s a young male-typical bear. We get this time of year 75-100 pounds just running through the city trying to find his way back out of the city,” said David Garst, who serves as the District Wildlife Biologist for the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources.

Experts say they won’t always come out to your property if you report a sighting because most of the time, the bear will leave on its own.

“Is this bear in a situation he can’t get out of, or he’s creating a public safety hazard someway? I.E., he’s got stuck in traffic somewhere, say on a major roadway or something, and that’s what’s going to trigger an actual physical response,” said Garst.

If you see a bear, there are two numbers you can call to get help. The first is the Wildlife Conflict Helpline. That’s where you can report a sighting or get information over the phone about how to get a bear to stop coming to your property. The number to call is 855-571-9003.

The DWR Crimeline is open 24/7. The number can be used as an emergency line to report a bear in danger or if a bear has harmed someone. The number is 800-237-5712.

“Just give them space and let them go on about their business,” explained Garst.

You should also expect to hear about more sightings in the coming weeks. The department says that most of the bears you’re likely to see are 2-year-old male cubs that the mom has stopped taking care of and are trying to find somewhere to go.

“As long as we can keep them moving and as long as they are moving, that’s a good thing,” Garst said.

If you have a bear sighting in your area, you should secure your trash or move it out of your yard, take down any bird feeders, and remove any other food sources.

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