VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – A mother-daughter duo got an exciting encounter heading to school Wednesday morning. A young male black bear was trying to make his way across the street near Indian River Road and West Neck Road around 8:30.
Katherine Schojan was driving her daughter Amara to school when Amara spotted the bear.
“I didn’t believe her at first, but I did glance over just in case and my first thought was how do I keep him and everyone around him safe?” said Schojan.
The bear made its way into the woods at Indian River Road. Both Katherine and Amara said the bear was massive, but they could tell it was still young.
An animal control officer responded and patrolled the area and checked several backyards. It was determined that the bear was not a threat and had moved on.
Supervisor Rebecca Franklin with Virginia Beach Animal Control said this time of year, mama bears typically kick out their teen bears as they prepare to have new babies. So those teen bears are looking for food or a mate.
“It is completely normal for us to have bear sightings in Virginia Beach. I’m sure some of you remember years ago the black bear that made its way up to the Oceanfront,” Virginia Beach Animal Control said on their Facebook page.
However, seeing one is still uncommon, which is why Franklin recommends taking pictures to remember the exciting encounter, but be safe.
“If you come across a bear and you see it and it doesn’t see you, what you’re gonna want to do is make a little bit of noise. Let it know you’re there and you’re going to back away from it,” said Franklin.
Animal Control says that in most cases bears are completely harmless and are just usually passing through the area. They urge citizens to maintain a safe distance from them for safety purposes.