The black bears of Lynchburg

Since March 2011, the Lynchburg Police Department Animal Control Unit has received 10 reports of bear sightings in the City of Lynchburg. The majority of the bear sightings have occurred in the Boonsboro area. The bears were not aggressive and were either wandering through the area or looking for food. The most common food sources bears are attracted to are bird feeders, garbage and pet food. Additionally, bears can be attracted to grills, livestock food, compost and beehives. Residential bear sightings may occur at anytime of the year, but are more common when natural food supplies are limited, usually in the spring or in years when nut and berry production are low. The Animal Control Unit suggests that if you are feeding your pets outside, you bring the food in at night and remove or take down your bird feeders.

If you encounter a bear, give it plenty of space and do not escalate the situation by crowding around or chasing the bear. Because bears are naturally afraid of humans, a bear that feels cornered will be looking for an escape route. By keeping people and pets away from the bear, you will be giving it the best chance to leave on its own.

If you have a bear sighting in your yard or neighborhood, please call Lynchburg Communications at 847-1602. If you need any advice or further information, please call the Animal Control Unit at 455-6058.

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