City of Virginia Beach warns of black bear roaming neighborhoods

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The City of Virginia Beach is warning residents about a black bear that has been seen in neighborhoods.

This bear was seen in Virginia Beach earlier in June (Virginia Beach Animal Control/Facebook)

The animal has been seen in the West Neck and Indian River Road neighborhoods.

Officials said it is looking for food.

Here are tips to keep your family and pets safe:

• Remove the bird feeders. It is best not to put out food for birds from April–November. Instead, plant native seed-bearing plants or use water features to attract birds to your home.
• Secure your garbage. Store garbage indoors, in a shed or garage, or in a bear...-proof container. Put garbage out on the morning of pickup, not the night before, or take it to the dump frequently.
• Pick up pet food. Feed pets only what they will eat in a single feeding or feed them indoors. Remove all uneaten food. Do not leave food out overnight.
• Do not put meat scraps in the compost pile. Keep compost away from house.
• Pick up and remove ripe fruit from fruit trees and surrounding grounds.
• Clean the grill often. Do not dump drippings in your yard. Run the grill an extra 5 minutes to burn off grease.
• Don’t store food, freezers, refrigerators, or trash on porches.

If you see a bear officials said to 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 the bear is up a tree, leave it alone. Keep people and pets away from the tree to allow the bear to leave your property.

Officials said it is illegal for any person to place, distribute, or allow the placement of food, minerals, carrion, trash, or similar substances to feed or attract bear.

Earlier in June News 3 told you about a mother and daughter who saw a black bear roaming while they were on the way to school.