When Black Bears are your neighbors

They’re beautiful, majestic, furry creatures, but when human-related foods become available to bears, problems may occur.

In Blacksburg and Montgomery County we’re fortunate to be nestled among the mountains and their native flora and fauna, including black bears. The question is, how can we live in harmony while protecting our properties and the well being of these animals?

In Virginia, it’s illegal to feed bears on public or private land. Unfortunately, bears can be attracted to residential property through inadvertent feeding (bird feeders, pet food, and trash cans). But with some simple steps, you can reduce the chances of bears making repeated visits to your neighborhood or property.

  • Secure your garbage in bear resistant trash cans or store it in a secure building
  • Remove bird feeders if a bear is in the area.
  • Don’t leave pet food outdoors.
  • Make sure your neighbors are following the same recommendations.

The website, https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/bear/, is a great resource to help you learn more about black bears and get in-depth information about how to keep from attracting bears to your neighborhood.

We live in bear country, so it is important for us to learn the facts about black bears and know what we can do to prevent conflicts. In this way we can help keep bears wild and coexist in this beautiful area for generations to come.

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