Bear Sightings Become More Common in Residential Areas - - ABC13

Bear Sightings Become More Common in Residential Areas


Madison Heights, VA - They're everywhere; in fact, a bear is still hanging out in a tree in Madison Heights. He's been up there for days now.

This year we're seeing more of them than ever before according to wildlife officials; the main reason; lack of a natural food source. The forest isn't filled with as many acorns or berries, so bears are taking to the streets, and rifling through your trash to fill their stomachs.

Folks are flocking, to see Madison Heights' newest neighbor.

"He's up in the big tree over there, and he just lays back on the limb like he lives here" said Audrey Hudson, an employee at the Country Cookin restaurant in Madison Heights.

"I love him, I would love to take him home" she said.

He, is a one year old baby black bear, who calls the towering tree behind Hudson's restaurant, his home.

"He is lovely; we want to keep him out here" she said.

Hudson's watched the little one wander down for the past few nights to feast from the restaurant's discarded leftovers.

"He goes into the dumpster, but I don't know what he's eating. Anything and everything he can get ahold of probably" she said.

He's developed what some would say has become a fan club, "He has been very calm, and coming forward to some people who would squat down to take a picture," said Alice Hamlett, Manager of the Country Cookin.

"He's doing what his instinct you know? He's scared of us just like we are of him" said Gary Roakes, Director of Public Safety for Amherst County.

Roakes says bears are everywhere this year.

"The bears are coming out looking for food. They're coming out of their habitats into residential areas or commercial areas such as here in Madison Heights" he said.

Low food supplies have forced bears to forage, sometimes, in our back yards. Roakes says try to keep the bears at bay, after all they may be cute, but they're definitely dangerous.

"Put pet food up, bird food, your trash, make sure they're in secure areas, those types of things" he said.

The next step for that little guy in the tree in Madison Heights, he's going to be monitored by the game warden, and the tree, for now, will remain his home.

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