Bears go dumpster diving - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Bears go dumpster diving

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BLUEFIELD (WVVA) - Viewers are reporting many bear sightings across the Two Virginias. Officials tell us that is to be expected.

"The bears start coming out of their dens in mid-March," said Colin Carpenter, a representative from the Department of Natural Resources. "And this time of year natural food abundance is at its lowest. So this is when bears become an issue."

One resident in Bluefield, VA tells us that her neighborhood bear has a bit of a sweet tooth.

"It was quite big in size right outside my daughter's bedroom window eating things out of our trash, specifically cupcakes, with purple icing," Stephanie McFarland explained.

And even when her family doesn't bear witness to him, this bear makes sure they know he's still around.

"I had some big huge paw prints on the on the back of my van. And it was not a cat paw print or anything like that."

While bears are extremely dangerous, experts say bear attacks are extremely rare. And there are things you can do to prevent the grizzley intruders from coming around in the first place.

"What we recommend is don't feed outside pets outside," Carpenter warned. "Put their trash out the morning of pickup instead of the night before. And take down bird feeders because birds don't need to be fed this time of year."

If you do happen to come face to face with a bear, natural resource officers say to make a lot of noise like clapping and yelling.

They should take off running.

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