The Maywood bear may still be roaming around Arlington

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

A bear spotted roaming Arlington’s Maywood neighborhood on Monday has been seen elsewhere in the county since then.

The young black bear’s presence prompted a warning from local officials, who urged residents to keep their distance should they see it. Public curiosity about the ursine vagabond is keeping those officials tight-lipped over where the bear has been spotted since, however.

“I believe there were a few more sightings over the last few days,” said Chelsea Jones, a spokeswoman for the Arlington Welfare League of Arlington. “At this time we are not releasing sighting locations for the safety of the public and the bear. Unfortunately in past bear sightings we have had issues with members of the public going out to look for the bear based on sighting location info, which can be extremely dangerous for everyone.”

“We are continuing to monitor his movements in conjunction with DWR and the Virginia State Biologist, and recommend that residents keep following the recommendations we posted about a few days ago,” Jones added. “Hopefully he will be on his way out of the county soon!”

Previously, AWLA said that the bear was walking around “likely… in his search for a new home habitat.”

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. The organization posted the following on social media after the initial sightings.

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!

About two years ago a black bear was seen walking around near Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington. There were no reports of additional sightings.