Northern Virginia black bear on the loose; officials say don't approach it
VIENNA, Va. - Beware! There's a bear on the loose in northern Virginia.
Video of the wild animal is popping up on social media. The bear sightings are creating concern for some Vienna residents.
Fairfax County police told FOX 5 that the calls started coming in reporting bear sightings about a week ago.
It's unclear, however, if it’s the same bear or if several are out and about.
What we do know is if you see a bear — don’t approach it.
The video many of you may have seen of a black bear was captured on Boyd Pointe Way near the Tesla dealership in Tysons on Sunday.
Management didn’t want to talk on camera, but residents had plenty to say. After all, it’s not every day a bear is seen roaming the sidewalks, steps away from homes.
Officials said this young black bear has been active in Fairfax County for about two months. It has been traveling throughout Vienna, Oakton, Fairfax, Reston, and Mclean, searching for food.
In one video sent to FOX 5, the bear can be seen in a wooded area. In another, it was spotted roaming around someone's backyard patio area.
Video shows a bear roaming the streets of Tysons
There's also another sighting outside a Vienna apartment building.
"It looked like it was walking around at a shopping mall … Definitely interesting," said Brian Wilson, a Vienna resident.
Ben Rahn, another member of the Vienna community, said he doesn't want to get bit by the bear.
"We don’t want any wild animals here," he said.
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries says this young bear has traveled into residential areas around homes, including yards, porches, and decks.
Most of the reports indicate the bear is taking advantage of human-sourced food items, primarily bird feeders, unsecured trash, and beehives.
Bear sightings should be reported to the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources by calling the toll-free Virginia Wildlife Conflict Helpline at 855-571-9003.