Bear sighting has Chesterfield residents nervously taking precautions

Posted at 11:54 PM, Jun 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-21 12:34:21-04

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR)--Authorities say a bear cub  was last seen running towards the Swift Creek Reservoir.

Without a confirmed capture and no other sightings since Thursday afternoon around three, some living in Woodlake are taking precautions. Even the normal nuisances nature provides can cause alarm when a bear is reported to be around.

"It's just a bug," said Kathy Smith, sounding relieved.

And that's far better than a bear.  Smith says her kids will be under tight supervision the next few days, waiting for word on where the black bear cub may be.

"I have little kids and to think a bear could come by makes me nervous," said Smith.

Smith's backyard bumps up against Ken Tiller's.

"I’m a little bit leery,” said Tiller.  “I’m also a little bit in awe.  I’ve never seen one in 25 years here."

Tiller lives in the Candlewick community in Woodlake.  Police sources tell CBS 6 that's where the cub was seen making a run for it earlier, before darting into Beechwood Point.

Tiller believes there's evidence in his yard.  "The last couple of days there's been large prints, paw prints,” he said. “And at first I thought maybe it was a gopher or raccoon, but it's too big for that."

What worries Woodlake residents is the presence of a bear cub may mean momma bear isn't too far behind.  Game and Inland Fisheries officials say keep your distance and call in all sightings.

Also, they add it's a good idea to keep your small pets and anything that can be food inside.

"We usually eat out on the deck,” said Smith.  “So we got to make sure there's no food out there and kids will stay inside until they figure this out."

Wildlife officials are urging folks not to approach the bear or do anything to make the bear feel as if it has to defend itself.