Bear removed from Virginia Tech campus


BLACKSBURG, Va (WFXR News) – Some Virginia Tech students are still shocked after a female black bear was removed from campus Thursday night.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, or VDGIF, staff say they got the call around 8 p.m. that the bear was in the West End area of campus.

“It was quite the experience,” said Conservation Police Officer David Peake who was on the scene.

Initially, the bear was shot with non-lethal weapons to try and get it to come down from the tree, according to Peake.

“I understand that there were a couple of hundred students that were around it at first. I think that ultimately, that’s probably why it went up the tree to kind of get away,” Peake said.

While it was up there, students like Noah Madel, got to see it from the dorm windows.

“I thought it was pretty crazy. Something like that never happened to me before because I don’t live around here. Just the fact that there was a bear, it was pretty funny and cool,” Madel said.

It came down eventually but then went up another tree. After that, the VDGIF biologist came and used a dart tranquilizer gun on the bear.

Once the bear was subdued, game and inland fisheries crews were able to safely capture it and take it to be released in the wild.

“I was glad that they didn’t kill it because that would have been sad,” said Freshman TeAsya Hudson.

A representative from VDGIF gave the following tips for if you ever encounter a bear.

In almost all cases, a black bear will detect you and leave the area before being noticed. However, if you do encounter a bear, here are some suggestions:

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
  • Do not run. Running could prompt the bear to chase. If in a group, stay together and make sure that your dog stays leashed.
  • If the bear hasn’t seen you, calmly leave the area, while making a bit of noise so the bear will not be surprised by you.
  • If the bear has seen you, back away slowly while facing the bear. Speaking softly may also let the bear know you mean no harm.
  • In the unlikely event that a black bear attacks you, fight back. Black bears have been driven away with rocks, sticks and even bare hands.

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