A bear — or bears — has been spotted in the Reston area.
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn says that he’s received several reports of bear sightings.
It’s not uncommon to spot bears this time of year as they wander into residential areas in search of food.
County officials say that bears may be drawn into populated areas because of the smell of food. Other things that attract bears include garbage, compost piles, fruit trees, beehives and berry-producing shrubs.
Here’s more from the county on how to make your property unattractive to bears:
Secure your garbage in bear-resistant trash cans or store it in a secure building.
If you have trash collection service, put your trash out the morning of the pickup, not the night before.
Do not store household trash, or anything that smells like food, in vehicles, on porches or decks.
Remove bird feeders if a bear is in the area and keep them down for 3-4 weeks. Birdfeeders are a common lure for bears in Fairfax County.
Keep your grill clean. Do not dump drippings in your yard.
Don’t put meat scraps in your compost pile.
Don’t leave pet food outdoors.
Make sure your neighbors are following the same recommendations.
Bear sightings should be reported to Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries through the Virginia Wildlife Conflict Helpline at (855) 571-9003, extension 711.
Photo via Walter Alcorn/Twitter