Bear sightings increase in Roanoke area

Local News

A bear was spotted, last week, wondering around behind a Roanoke restaurant right off of Brambelton Avenue.

A manager at Country Cookin says the bear just seemed curious about the good smelling food, and wasn’t threatening at all.

“He was a pretty good size bear. He must’ve weighed about 200 pounds,” said Mike Preston.

Preston is a District Manager for Country Cookin, and was working the day this black bear wondered into a grassy spot right behind the restaurant on Brambelton Avenue.

“We saw him for maybe one or two days, and since then we haven’t seen him,” he said.

But it appears that bear is likely on the move.

“It seems like in the few weeks it’s been quite busy with the bear calls,” said Katie Martin.

Martin is a biologist for the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. She says they’ve received 50 to 100 calls about bears over the last month.

“A lot of them are from the same bear though. Just one bear generating a lot of publicity,” she said.

She says bears are more active this time of year because they are getting ready for hibernation, and that means they’re hungry.

“They’re looking for acorns, and mash crop that they can eat so they can fatten up before we really get into the cold part of the winter,” she said.

But bears are also looking for convenience. So things like dumpsters behind restaurants, or even easy spots around houses can make for a quick meal.

“Trash cans, bird feeders, your grills, any of those things. We really need to keep up,” she said.

Back at Country Cookin, Preston says they already had strong protocol in place against leaving food outside of their building, but since they saw the bear they’re taking even more action.

“We notified our trash company to make sure we have a bear proof dumpster, and they’re taking care of that,” he said.

So it looks like this bear will have to wait a little longer to get his paws on some Country Cookin.

Katie Martin also recommends always taking any trash out of your car. She says bears have excellent sense of smells, and even if windows are rolled up, they can smell those leftovers inside.

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