ALERT: Bear Wandering in Heritage Hunt Neighborhood, Golf Course

| June 13, 2017 | 0 Comments | News

Photo of a bear wandering Heritage Hunt, June 13, 2017, as shared by the Prince William Police.

The Prince William Police have issued an advisory for Western PWC residents, concerning a bear sighting in the Heritage Hunt community in Gainesville, Tuesday.

The advisory was issued at approximately 10:30 a.m., June 13. According to most recent information, the bear has not yet been captured.

Residents and pedestrians are advised to take precaution.

“Heritage Hunt residents, please be aware a black bear has been sighted near the golf course area. For now, we ask that you bring your pets and their food sources inside if possible. If you have vegetable gardens, harvest any ripe vegetables.”

“Patrol officers are in the area and the Fish and Game department has been notified. Please contact Communications at 703-792-6500 with any concerns. We will continue to update.”

Heritage Hunt is located off Heathcote Boulevard. The golf course is adjacent to the Conway Robinson State Park. The main road through the community is Arthur Hills Drive.

Following the alert, Prince William Police posted “tips and suggestions for dealing with hungry bears.” These tips come from the Virginia Department of Wildlife:

BEAR AWARE: With the recent bear sightings in western Prince William County, we would like to offer the following tips and suggestions for dealing with hungry bears:

  • Remove food sources that might attract hungry bears. This includes bird feeders, garbage, pet food, outdoor grills, livestock food, compost, fruit trees and beehives. Virginia’s bears are primarily active and very hungry from late March through May, so temporarily removing these items, or scrupulously cleaning them if you cannot remove them, should help.
    • Do not store trash – or anything that smells like food – in vehicles, on porches, or decks. Keep your full or empty trash containers secured in a garage, shed or basement. If you do not have a trash collection service, take your garbage to the Landfill frequently (twice a week or more). If you do have a trash collection service, put your garbage out the morning of the pickup rather than the night before.
    • Take down your birdfeeders temporarily until the bear moves on.
    • Consider installing electric fencing, an inexpensive and extremely efficient, proven deterrent to bears, around dumpsters, gardens, beehives or other potential food sources.

Bears generally avoid humans but, in their search for food, they may wander into suburban areas. What should you do if you see a bear? Keep a respectful distance. If a bear is up a tree on or near your property, give it space. Bring your pets inside and leave the immediate area.

If you see a bear cub in the area, do NOT try to remove it from the area or “rescue it.” Female bears – who may give birth while hibernating in the winter den – will wander to find food, usually with her cubs in tow. If she feels nervous, she will typically send her cubs up a tree and leave the area.
Always remember that a bear is a wild animal, and that it is detrimental to the bear – as well as illegal in Virginia – to feed a bear under ANY circumstances. Even the inadvertent feeding of nuisance bears is illegal.

If you experience a bear problem after taking appropriate preventative steps, please notify the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries regional office. Visit the website at www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/bear/ or www.dgif.virginia.gov for more information. Our Public Safety Communications direct non-emergency contact is 703-792-6500.

Bristow Beat will update with any changing or new information.

This advisory was shared on the Prince William Police Facebook page.

© 2017, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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