OFFICIAL: Food the reason for Henrico bear sticking around

Posted at 12:11 AM, Jul 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-03 00:24:59-04

HENRICO, Va (WTVR) – A black bear in a West End neighborhood has been catching the attention of many living in the area the past week.

“He’s establishing a regular path around here,” said Dennis Geib, who told CBS 6 News’ Chelsea Rarrick he saw the bear Tuesday morning.

Geib said he woke up and told his nephew, Jon Bremer, who lives next door. Bremer was able to shoot a video of the bear with his children inside his home.

The bear has even made it to the social media scene, with a Twitter account. Officials said the bear is a yearling, around two years old.

“This time of year, mama gets rid of the yearlings so they can focus on the next generation,” said David Whitehurst, Director of Wildlife Resources.

Whitehurst said they believe the bear is a male and has been lingering around the neighborhood because of the food that has been available.

“If a bear associates people and food and that association gets strong, it’s very hard to break that habituation once it occurs,” said Whitehurst.

Whitehurst said the best scenario for the bear would be for it to go back into the wild on it’s own. He said it can be stressful for both the bear and officials if they have to move it themselves.

“We’re hoping that the bear will move on, but that’s becoming more doubtful the longer he stays in one location,” said Whitehurst.

Whitehurst said Henrico County Animal Control has told people living in the area to make sure all food and trash is put away to keep the bear from coming back.

On Twitter? Follow @WestEndBear