LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Lynchburg Police say they have been notified of bear sightings in the Boonsboro area.

On Saturday morning, the department posted on its Facebook page advising residents to simply be aware.

“Bears are smart and they love food. They are attracted to bird feeders, garbage, and pet food,” said the Lynchburg Police Department in a Facebook post.

According to the Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR), learning about bears will help prevent negative interactions. The department says in order to help manage the bear population is by keeping your property clear of food and communicating with neighbors in your community to help resolve any bear concerns.

The DWR says bears are highly adaptable and intelligent animals who can easily learn to associate human residences with food. The department says the most common food attractions for bears are bird feeders, garbage, beehives, pet food, grills, livestock feeds, and company cans.

Officials say in residential areas, typical issues include turned-over garbage cans, trash in the yard, damaged birdfeeders, and bears coming on the porch to eat pet food or to get into coolers.

To help keep away the four-legged animals the DWR suggests to the do the following:

  • Remove bird feeders
  • Store garbage indoors, in a shed, garage, or in a bear-resistant can
  • Pick up pet food and do not leave it out overnight
  • Do not put meat scraps in the compost pile
  • Pick up and remove ripe fruit
  • Clean your grill often
  • Install electric fencing
  • do not store food, refrigerators, or trash on porches
  • Use harassment techniques
  • Talk to your neighbors

For more tips, visit the Department of Wildlife Resources website.