ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — A black bear has been spotted wandering around Arlington County, and officials are warning members of the community to stay away.
The Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA) received a call on Saturday that they say is, “rare…but not unheard of” — a report of a male black bear walking around the county. AWLA officials said that the bear is young and healthy and is likely “searching for a new home habitat.”
In a statement released on the AWLA Twitter account, officials say members of the community have gone out searching for bears to take photos with the animal in years past. They warn that attempting to take photos of the bear or searching for the animal can be extremely dangerous.
Animal control officers ask that anyone who sees a bear to call them immediately and move to a safe location inside.
The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources shared some advice on how to keep the bear away from your home:
•Take down bird feeders
•Clean porches and decks after cooking or eating outside
•Secure your garbage, compost piles, or pet food inside a shed or a bear-resistant container
•Never leave food, trash or pets inside your car
Officials did not confirm the exact location where the bear was spotted, but AWLA says they will continue to update the Virginia State biologist and Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources as the location of the bear changes.