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Bear spotted casually walking around Arlington today

Bear spotted in Arlington Monday (photo courtesy Animal Welfare League of Arlington)

A bear was spotted walking around an Arlington neighborhood this morning, prompting a warning from animal control.

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington said it confirmed a resident’s report of a young black bear roaming around, “likely… in his search for a new home habitat.”

“While bear sightings are rare in Arlington County, they are not unheard of,” AWLA said. “Unfortunately in past bear sightings, we have had issues with members of the public going out in search of the bear to take their own photos or see it for themselves. This is VERY dangerous.”

Residents who see the bear are asked to “call AWLA immediately” at 703-931-9241 and advised to keep a safe distance or get inside.

Patch reported earlier that the bear “was spotted in Arlington’s Maywood community Monday morning, walking through people’s yards and onto porches as it headed to a park on the east side of the neighborhood near the Custis Trail.”

Just over two years ago a black bear was seen walking around near Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington. Animal control officers were unable to locate the bear after the initial sighting.

More from AWLA, below, on the latest bear incident.

On June 5th, 2022, a young black bear was spotted by a member of the public in Arlington County. Our Animal Control Officers confirmed the sighting and immediately contacted the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) and Virginia State biologist. The bear seems healthy and is likely a male yearling moving through Arlington Co in his search for a new home habitat. We are continuing to update these agencies as the location of the bear changes.

While bear sightings are rare in Arlington County, they are not unheard of. Unfortunately in past bear sightings, we have had issues with members of the public going out in search of the bear to take their own photos or see it for themselves. This is VERY dangerous, and can cause harm to you, others, and the bear. Instead, we ask that residents call AWLA immediately at (703) 931-9241 if they spot the bear, and keep to a safe distance or indoors.

We also urge residents follow these recommendations from DWR:

  • Secure garbage: Keep in a locked shed or inside until collected or use a bear resistant container.
  • Secure any compost piles
  • Take down bird feeders.
  • Secure pet food in bear-resistant containers or inside locked sheds.
  • Clean up porches/decks: Clean grills including drip pans, remove any potential food sources, and remember a screened in porch is not a “secure” storage area from a bear’s point of view.
  • Never leave food, trash, or pet food inside your vehicle.
  • Keep dogs on a leash at all times

Thank you for helping us keep people and wildlife safe in Arlington!

 

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