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Bear cub spotted running through Henrico neighborhood

Posted at 3:15 PM, May 22, 2023

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A black bear cub was spotted Monday morning running around western Henrico.

Sharon Thompson saw the bear near Doverton Road and Glen Eagles Drive and shared her video with CBS 6.

"[My] two-year-old was calling it to come over," Thompson said. "I was going to put my dog inside from the backyard!"

Bear sightings are not uncommon this time of year in Central Virginia.

In previous interviews, wildlife experts have told CBS 6 there is no reason to be afraid and that bears don’t want to be near people.

They said if you see one, to keep your distance and let the bear wander away on its own.

"These are wild animals and they don’t need our help," a Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation spokespersonsaid in an older interview on the subject. "We are developing these areas where these animals used the resources or habitat for a place to live, and as we develop more and more they have less and less places to travel through these corridors without being seen."

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources offered the following advice to reduce the likelihood a bear would be attracted to your home:

  • Secure your garbage in bear-resistant trash cans or store it in a secure building.
  • Keep your grill clean.
  • Remove bird feeders if a bear is in the area.
  • Don’t put meat scraps in your compost pile.
  • Don’t leave pet food outdoors.
  • Pick up and remove ripe fruit from fruit trees.
  • Make sure your neighbors are following the same recommendations.

"If you see a bear, enjoy watching from a distance. If you come into close contact, back away slowly and remember that bears have a natural distrust of humans and will run when given a safe escape route. If it is up a tree, leave it alone. Keep people and pets away from the tree to allow the bear to leave your property," the Virginia Department of Wildlife advised.
If You Encounter a Bear at Home:

There are no definite rules about what to do if you meet a bear. In almost all cases, the bear will detect you first and leave the area. Unprovoked bear attacks are very rare, and have never been documented in Virginia. If you do meet a bear here are some suggestions:

  • Stay calm. If you see a bear and it has not seen you, calmly leave the area. As you move away, make noise to let the bear discover your presence.
  • Stop. Back away slowly while facing the bear.
  • Give the bear plenty of room to escape. Bears rarely attack people unless they feel cornered or provoked.
  • Do not run or make any sudden movements. Running could prompt the bear to give chase, and you cannot outrun a bear. If on a trail, step off the trail and slowly leave the area.
  • If there is a bear in your yard and it approaches you, make yourself look big and make loud noises. Remain at a safe distance and throw rocks to make the bear feel unwelcome.
  • If there is a bear in your house prop open all doors to the outside and get out of the way of the exit. Never close a bear into a room. Make noises and yell at bear to leave the house. Don’t approach the bear but make sure it knows it is violating your territory.
  • If you surprise a bear speak softly. This may reassure the bear that you mean it no harm.
  • Fight back. If a black bear attacks you, fight back. Black bears have been driven away when people have fought back with rocks, sticks, binoculars and even their bare hands.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip. If you see breaking news, and can do so safely, shoot a photo or video and send it to CBS 6. You can also upload photos to our Facebook page or email pics@wtvr.com from your phone.

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