Bear spotted eating from bird feeders in Hanover County neighborhoods

Posted at 7:10 PM, Jul 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-08 21:57:06-04

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. – People living in two Hanover County neighborhoods are anxious after a bear was spotted eating out of bird feeders Friday morning.

The first of the multiple bear sightings was reported where the entrance to the Milestone neighborhood and New Ash Cake Road. That is where someone saw the bear ran across the road around 10:30 a.m.

"I got a phone call today from my neighbor while I was out running errands that she saw a bear our on New Ash Cake,” Shannon O'Connor said. "The car in front had slammed on brakes and she almost ran into him."

O'Connor said her friend immediately called 911 and then called her to make sure her children were not playing outside.

Hanover County Sheriff's Office officials said multiple bear sighting calls were received from the Milestone and King's Charter neighborhoods. Those callers reported seeing the bear eating from bird feeders.

For some living in the area, the bear sighting is worrisome.

"You think of a suburban neighborhood wouldn't have bears,” neighbor Doris Willing said.

Some folks who live Milestone said they are not just concerned about their children, but also worried about their pets.

"As long as they don't take the dog for a snack, we're OK,” Ivan Alevy said.

This is not the only bear sighting in Hanover County. In May several bears were sighted in the county.

Back on May 28,  Joan Stimeare Bowles and her husband also had a run-in with a bear when it chowed down at their bird feeder near their deck in Mechanicsville.

"My husband spotted it first and called me to come look at what was in our yard. He sounded panicked. He was getting ready to let our chihuahua out when he saw the cat drawn back and looking strange," Bowles wrote.

While her husband called 911, Bowles grabbed her phone and started recording video of the close encounter.

Official: Bear weighs around 100 pounds

An official with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries previously told WTVR CBS 6 that this is the time of year when teenage bears are looking for their own territory after separating from their mothers.

He stressed that the bear is just as scared of people – as people are of it. Do not approach the bear and it will be on its way, he said.

Additionally, it is a good idea to remove anything that might attract a bear, like open garbage cans, pet food or bird feed.



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