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Bear Spotted Near Reston; Police Urge Safety Around the Animals

by Dave Emke — July 10, 2017 at 10:15 am 8 Comments

Reader Mel Davidson shared the above photo of a bear that was spotted over the weekend near Reston.

Davidson said the bear was seen Saturday afternoon in the Stuart Ridge community, which has a Herndon address but is located near Fairfax County Parkway in the area of Reston’s Lake Newport Road.

The Fairfax County Police Department posted on Facebook on Sunday that there have been “several reports of bear sightings in park[s] and residential neighborhoods throughout the county.” According to police:

Bears typically avoid humans, but may wander into suburban areas in their search for food. Bears can cause serious property damage and if they lose their fear of humans and pose public safety concerns, they may have to be destroyed.

If you encounter or see a bear, do not approach it. Back away slowly and ensure it has an escape route. If a bear huffs or “woofs,” clacks its teeth, growls or slaps the ground, it is warning you that you are too close.

Conflicts with bears can be avoided by removing unnatural food sources. The most common are birdfeeders, garbage, compost piles, fruit trees, berry-producing and pet food left outside.

FCPD says bear sightings should be reported to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries by calling the Virginia Wildlife Conflict Helpline at 855-571-9003, or to the county’s Animal Protection Police by calling 703-691-2131.

Photo courtesy Mel Davidson

  • Mike M

    I suspect he came down the west side of the Potomac and up the Sugarland Run valley. The scary part is he had to cross Route 7 and Wiehle! Be careful driving ay night.

    I’ll bet he was travelin’ light and singin’ this . . .

    Looking for the bare necessities
    The simple bare necessities
    Forget about your worries and your strife
    I mean the bare necessities
    That’s why a bear can rest at ease
    With just the bare necessities of life

    • TRS

      OK that’s funny, too.

    • TheKingJAK

      I’ve seen wildlife crossing the Toll Road as well as Route 50. I feel bad when they end up being hit, especially since they don’t have many ways of migrating without needing to cross major thoroughfares around here.

  • Rational Reston

    If a bear poops on RA property does RA fine it?

    • TRS

      That is a good question!

    • 40yearsinreston

      Does it have a pass ?

  • Mike M

    Oh, wait a minute! That’s no bear. It’s my neighbor’s fat black lab, Billy with his smokey the bear mask on. That Billy’s a prankster! You should see him on his hind legs with his Sasquatch suit on!

    • Desi Relaford

      lol Mike M you sure are crazy!

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