SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The black bear is no stranger to the Mountain State. But as a natural born predator, neighbors should be wary.
“We were sleeping and we heard a chicken scream. We looked out the window and a bear was running away with the chicken,” said Hallie Mason of South Hills.
The massive black bear got away with six of the Mason family’s chickens and spooked other neighborhood animals.
But it wasn’t just their beloved pets that the bear posed a threat too.
“My son who is 17 heard something going on out here. He ran out the door and came face to face with the bear. They were about eight feet apart,” said Mason.
Luckily their son escaped the bear, but their property was not left untouched. And since they live just down the street from an elementary school, they contacted the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources for help.
“The bear had become habituated to people and food sources, and a risk to the public,” said Chief Paul Johanson with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
So DNR took action.
“We had some difficulty catching the bear last year, but obviously it came out of hibernation this year and we have to take the steps necessary to capture and remove the bear,” said Johanson.
But there are more than this one bear. The best way to make sure these animals do not come onto your property, DNR says find the source of the food that the bears are attracted to.
“It’s unattended trash; sometimes it’s pet food. May actually be bird feeders. Once you remove that food source, the bear finds another place,” said Johanson.
As we continue into spring and bears come out of hibernation, you should be on the lookout and keep children and pets safe.