Bear after peanuts, climbs fence at Chesapeake home

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CHESAPEAKE, Va. - A couple was just going through their morning routine when a surprise visitor peeked over the fence. The black bear swiped some peanuts from a basket, then climbed back down the fence and went away.

Heather Sperling couldn't believe what she was seeing. "Oh my gosh, really. I wasn't scared, I felt safe inside my home and I was just surprised to actually see him in the morning in the daylight like that."

Spotting black bears are common for people living in off Monitor Court. According to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, black bears are easily spotted in Chesapeake and Suffolk. Just one month ago, Sperling's neighbor Dawn Pederson saw one looking for food.

"I saw the black bear walk out from behind Heather's fence here and walked all along our fence line and across two more neighbors' yards. Of course I'm yelling black bear!" said Pedersen.

Sperling told News 3 she was focused on getting photos of the bear to share with friends.  "I know really they're more scared of us than we are of them. They're not here to hurt people, they're here just for food," said Sperling.

Pete Acker, a District Terrestrial Biologist said black bears are not aggressive. They only cause problems when they are accustomed to finding food from people. To prevent pairs from paying a visit, make sure food is securely put away, meaning no more bird feeders, nuts and pet food and trash cans need to be kept in the garage.