CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Residents in the South Hills area of Charleston say they are seeing a black bear walking around and they are asking themselves, “what do I do?”
“I, at least, saw it twice, but all the neighbors probably got a taste of it that evening,” said Kelli Boyd, a resident of South Hills.
Boyd said she was walking to her house Tuesday night when her neighbors alerted her about a black bear standing 15 feet away.
“I’m like, ‘what do I do?’ I don’t want to walk back down the street with this bear, and they say ‘get in the car’,” Boyd said. “They roll down their windows and there’s this bear sitting in the tree, and it’s this massive 300-pound bear just sitting in my neighbor’s tree.”
Kem Shaw, a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wildlife biologist, said they’ve had several calls this week of black bear sightings.
“I’m definitely on high alert in the evenings,” Boyd said. “I’m all about seeing if we can get it relocated because it’s a big bear.”
However, in West Virginia, relocation is not an option.
“We don’t move bears anymore. If we capture one, we destroy it, because you wouldn’t want me to take somebody else’s nuisance bear to release at your house,” he said.
Shaw said the best thing to do is to remove any food source that may be on your property.
“People always ask what can I do to keep bears away, well, don’t feed them. If you can maybe take in your bird feeders, make sure there’s no pet food out, and make sure your trash is secure so they can’t get in,” Shaw said.
Shaw said black bears usually aren’t aggressive, but if you do encounter one, you should walk away, not run.