Black bear taken from tree near Suffolk home

Posted at 4:56 PM, Jun 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-08 08:10:26-04

Suffolk, Va. - A 300-lb black bear was spotted on a tree limb approximately 20 feet in the air in the 4300 block of Whaleyville Boulevard on Friday.

Crews were able to get the bear out of the tree by shooting it with a tranquilizer gun and catching it in a tarp. The bear was not injured officials say.

It was then released in a safer location.

Police say spotting black bears in Suffolk is not unusual, especially considering the city's proximity to the Great Dismal Swamp.

Residents can minimize negative interactions with bears by following simple guidelines:

  • Secure your garbage:  Store garbage indoors, in a shed, in a garage, or in a bear-proof container.
  • Put garbage out the morning of pick-up, not the night before.
  • Pick up pet food.  Feed pets only what they will eat in a single feeding or feed them indoors.  Remove the food bowl soon after pets finish.  Pick up uneaten food. Do not leave food out overnight.
  • Remove the bird feeder:  Bears consume seed and nuts found in the wild, so bird feeders become a favored target for bears.
  • Clean the outdoor grill often.
  • Do not put meat scraps or any other strong-smelling food in the compost pile.  Consider an enclosed compost bin.
  • Do not leave strong-smelling food in your vehicles.
  • Pick up and remove ripe fruit from fruit trees and surrounding grounds.

The best thing you can do is leave it alone.

If you experience a bear problem after taking appropriate steps of prevention, you may contact Suffolk Police Department non-emergency dispatch at 757-923-2350, extension 0.