The Winchester Police Department’s Animal Control Unit is receiving calls from residents regarding a bear in the area. Officers have received reports of bird feeders that have been destroyed. On Thursday the police department received a call from the 1900 block of Harvest Drive where a resident reported that several trees and bird feeders were damaged. Officers determined the damage was caused by a bear.
The bear is looking for food sources and in an effort to eliminate those sources Animal Control Officers ask residents to do the following:
- Remove your bird feeders
- Secure your garbage by storing it indoors, or in a bear-proof container.
- Don’t leave any cat or dog food outside
Residents are reminded that if you see a bear, do not approach it. Animal Control Officers say bears are more afraid of people than the people are of them.
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries says “residential bear problems may occur at any time of year, but are more common when natural food supplies are limited, usually in the spring or in years when natural nut and berry production is low.” The department says after a few failed attempts to find food around homes, bears will usually leave the area. For more information visit dgif.virginia.gov.