Dale City residents may have been a tad shocked on Monday afternoon when they discovered a male bear had made its way into their neighborhood.
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) received a call about the animal, which was at 4305 Kentland Drive.
Soon afterward, Conservation Police Officer Sgt. Goszka arrived and was joined by Regional Wildlife Biologist Kevin Rose, according to VDGIF Outreach Director Robert Lee Walker Jr.
The Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue (PWCDFR) and the Prince William County Police Department (PWCPD) also responded.
The organizations worked together to safely remove the 2-year-old bear, which is the equivalent of a human teenager.
“They were able to tranquilize the bear and then they housed it overnight to evaluate it, and then it was released in an undisclosed location — but in a much more remote area — this morning,” Walker said.
Luckily, Walker added, officials could easily capture it.
The bear did well overnight, but it may not have had the most pleasant feeling when it awoke.
“Unfortunately, anytime we have to dart a bear and they wake up it’s — putting it in people term[s] — the 2-year-old bear left with probably a hangover he wasn’t accustomed to,” Walker said. “But [he] went on his way and should be back in the wild where he belongs.”
VDGIF has a few suggestions that can help community members address bears traveling in residential areas.
The department suggests members of the public to remove bird feeders and pick up dog food.
Food, freezers, refrigerators and trash should not be stored on porches.
Grills should also be cleaned often and garbage should be kept in bear-proof containers.
Community members who discover a bear should calmly leave the area and make noise to make their presence known.
They should also back slowly away while facing the animal and give it space to escape.
Those who come across one should not run or make sudden movements.
More information about how to address bears can be found here.
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