According to Animal Control Officers and the Fairfax County Wildlife Management Specialist, it is not unusual to see black bears at this time of year and residents should not panic or feel alarmed when they see one. A bear was spotted in the 1300 block of Trap Road, Vienna area at around 1 p.m. on Monday, June 22, and a resident took photos to share with our animal control officers. The bear posed no problems or issues and it is likely that this bear has already moved through and not staying in the area.
Bears typically avoid humans, but in their search for food it is not uncommon to see one. Most often, bears will keep moving through an area once they fail in their attempts to find food. Unless the animal is sick or injured, or poses a threat to public safety, animal control officers do not take actions to attempt to remove bears from a neighborhood. Black bears have a natural fear of humans, and in most cases, would rather flee than encounter people.
If addressed quickly, wildlife issues caused by food attractants in yards can be resolved almost immediately.
The Fairfax County Wildlife Management Specialist and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries suggest residents take the following precautions to keep bears and other wildlife away from your home:
* The best way to encourage the bear not to return is to remove the food source.
* Do not store household trash, or anything that smells like food, in vehicles, on porches or decks.
* Keep your full or empty trash containers secured in a garage, shed or basement. * Take your garbage to the dump frequently.
* If you have a trash collection service, put your trash out the morning of the pickup, not the night before.
* Take down your birdfeeder for 3-4 weeks after the bear visits.
* Consider installing electric fencing, an inexpensive and extremely efficient proven deterrent to bears, around dumpsters, gardens, beehives, or other potential food sources.
* If addressed quickly, this situation can be resolved almost immediately after you remove the food source. Sometimes, the bear may return searching for food, but after a few failed attempts to find it, will leave your property.
source: Fairfax Police