(Berkeley Springs, WV – November 14, 2015) — Several property owners have recently seen evidence that indicates that a bear is present in our community. Last fall and now early this spring, a bear was sighted and has done some damage in our community. Property owners have recently reported bird feeders and trash containers being disturbed. Tracks and droppings that may be from a bear have also been reported.
The West Virginia Natural Resources Department reports on its website that generally black bears will avoid humans but bears are wild animals and must be considered dangerous. If any wild animal perceives humans as potential threats, the animal could attack.
If the WVDNR has to trap a bear, it generally will be destroyed because there is an overpopulation of bears in the region and there is no place to relocate a bear without it becoming a nuisance to other communities.
Here are some recommendations:
- Do not leave any food source outside. Do not leave food out for strays or other animals. Do not feed or bait bears, deer, squirrels or other wildlife.
- Bring bird feeder inside at night.
- Do not leave trash in containers outside. Keep trash containers inside. Clean trash containers with bleach OR ammonia.
- Keep grills clean. Minimize potential sources of food or attractive odors. Anything that emits an odor that would potentially attract animals will attract bears also. Bears have been known to break into houses seeking food. This has yet to happen in our community, but the potential is there.
All of us need to be aware of the problems associated with bears in close proximity to humans.