By Betty Gandee
If you spot a black bear in West Virginia, you can consider yourself one of the lucky few. There are estimated to be close to 8,000 bears in WV, but they tend to stay away from human dwellings.
Black bears are naturally fearful of humans and often retreat during close encounters. As with any wild animal, the potential to inflict injuries on people is present. Most of these injuries result from carless activities such as feeding by hand or being to close when animals are feeding on human food sources.
In circumstances where the bear is being a nuisance in a certain area, the DNR will step in and take further action on removing the bear. With that being said, there has been a few reports filed with the DNR on bear in the Clay County area.
In the Camp Creek region, a black bear has been spotted in trash and damaging a vehicle. The DNR has set a trap to remove this bear safely. Along with the Camp Creek spotting, a bear has been spotted in the Maysel area, near the ballfield, also getting in trash and getting close to homes.
The DNR has provided some steps to help with bear issues, they are as follows;
-Keep pet food inside, avoid feeding pets outside, remove and store all pet dishes if you feed outside.
-Remove grease, sauces, and charred food from BBQ grills or pits and store grills in a garage or out building.
-Compost heaps should be kept away from your home and avoid composting meat products and sweets.
-Do not feed bears scraps, as this only strengthens a bear’s association of humans and it is illegal. This often leads to bear that lose their natural fear of humans and can lead to property damage and injury.
If you come in contact with these problems, please call the DNR at 304-924-6214.