The Portsmouth Police Department is advising citizens to be aware of their surroundings in the early morning or late evening hours after several bear sightings have been reported.
Police say they have received several calls since Tuesday in reference to bear sightings in several areas of the city.
These areas include the 1100 block of Melvin Drive, I-164 Westbound, 4000 block of West Norfolk Road, 4200 block of Hatton Point Drive, Wild Duck Lane and Goose Bay Drive.
The bear has been described as large and brown and possibly between 300 and 400 pounds.
There is no indication that the bear or bears are aggressive but police warn that approaching a bear or any wild animal can be dangerous or deadly.
With the winter season fast approaching, it is believed that these bear sightings are due to the animals natural instinct to wander around looking for food.
This wandering behavior exhibited by the bears seen is instinct and sightings should diminish as winter draws closer.
The Portsmouth Police Department are reminding citizens that they can do several things to help keep bears or other wild animals from wandering onto, damaging or destroying their property.
Citizens should keep trashcans and other containers tightly closed and ensure that they throw away all garbage and food into the appropriate receptacles. This can reduce the likelihood of any wild animal wandering into their yard. If you have a dog, please be sure to keep a close eye when walking or taking them outside. It is recommended that you keep your dog on a leash at all times to keep them from trying to run toward or investigate a bear or any other animal that they may see.
If a citizen has any questions they can contact Portsmouth Animal Control or the Portsmouth Police Department at 757-393-5300.