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Bear spotted in the city captured overnight in Richmond

Posted at 1:07 AM, Jun 30, 2015

RICHMOND, Va. -- A bear spotted overnight in Church Hill was eventually cornered and tranquilized in Richmond's Mosby Court neighborhood. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, along with Richmond Animal Control and Richmond Police, worked hours to track down and capture the black bear seen wandering around the city looking for food.

Officials described the nearly 200-pound bear as a hungry adolescent looking for a meal.

"This time of year younger males are dispersing, their mothers have kicked them out," Aaron Proctor, a biologist for the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, said. "These bears end up coming into urbanized areas of the city looking for easy meals, trash cans and dumpsters and get in trouble."

Once tranquilized, Proctor said he and his co-workers took the bear to a safe place to spend the night and for observation.

"We'll watch him overnight; offer him water; quick starches and carbohydrates like jelly, jam, and apples," he said. "We'll evaluate him in the morning to make sure he's alert and on all four legs, check him for injuries again, then will take him to a place outside the greater metro Richmond area and release him."

Tuesday morning, officials said the bears physical evaluation went well, and he was released in a remote area of southeast Virginia where there is a healthy black bear population.

Monday night, Richmond Police advised people in Mosby Court to use caution because of the bear. The bear was initially seen by a citizen at 11 p.m. June 29 in the 1800 block of Rogers Street. It was then seen just after midnight in a wooded area near the intersection of Coalter and Redd streets.

One person reached out on Facebook and said that the bear has been cutting through her grandmother's back yard in Church Hill.  Other people called the newsroom asking what action to take. Police advised citizens to keep their distance from the bear and stress not to approach it for any reason.

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