ARLINGTON COUNTY, Va. - Arlington County’s animal shelter and humane society has received several reports of black bear sightings, according to officials.
The Animal Welfare League of Arlington says the reported sightings were of a juvenile black bear in the Windy Run Park area of Arlington County.
The group says their plan is to allow the bear to make his way out of the county.
"We are asking residents to be aware of their surroundings and stay away from the bear if sighted," they said in a statement.
Sightings can be reported to AWLA’s Animal Control team at 703-931-9241.
Animal Welfare League of Arlington
Earlier in June, a black bear was spotted in a D.C. neighborhood. The sighting drew crowds of people to northeast D.C. before the bear was tranquilized and safely captured. Franklin, as the bear was nicknamed was released back into the wild, officials say.
There have been many recent bear sightings in the D.C. region so far this year. Earlier this month, a FOX 5 viewer says they spotted a bear at a Prince George's County shopping center. A few days later a black bear was spotted in Hyattsville.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service says the most common human-bear conflicts involve unsecured attractants, such as garbage and human food.
Protect yourself and bears by staying alert and following these guidelines:
- Never approach bears, always remain at least 100 yards (300 feet) away, or about the length of a football field
- Practice ethical wildlife viewing by remaining a safe distance and never disturbing natural behaviors
- Never feed, leave food for, or make food accessible to bears
- Store food, garbage, barbecue grills, and other attractants in locked hard-sided vehicles or bear-resistant storage boxes
- Carry bear spray, know how to use it, and make sure it is accessible
- Hike or ski in groups of three or more, stay on maintained trails and make noise
- Avoid hiking at dusk, dawn, or at night
- Do not run if you encounter a bear
- Instead of traditional bird feeders, set up birdhouses or birdbaths, plant native flowers, or set up hanging flower baskets for hummingbirds
- Keep chickens and other small livestock properly secured using electric fencing or keep them inside a closed shed with a door
- Report bear sightings, encounters, and conflicts immediately to your state or tribal wildlife management agency