Residents Upset Over Bear Sighting Response

10:24 PM, Jun 25, 2013   |    comments
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MCLEAN, Va. (WUSA9) -- On Monday around 3:00 p.m. Diane Landry walked outside to find what she thought was her neighbor's dog.  

But while she was going down the steps, the large animal went up the other side and straight for the bird feeder. When she came back up on the deck, she was startled to see a black bear gorging on bird seed. 

"I was shocked. I happened to have my phone with me and called police," she said.  

She told them she couldn't get back in her house because of a black bear on her deck.  An animal control officer arrived and shooed the bear away. 

He told her it was a "youngster" that had probably been recently pushed out by its mom.  She was told that normally the young bears head toward the mountains. But, this one came to Tysons Corner.   

Fairfax County Police took in several reports of bear sightings in McLean and Vienna on Monday. 

A similar bear encounter happened last week in Gaithersburg, Md. 

Landry took the bird feeder down, but soon, the bear returned looking for more bird seed.  

She banged on her glass door and yelled at the bear to go away. He lumbered toward her back yard and jumped over the fence into her neighbor's yard. 

Janet Tysse often watches her grandchildren.  She was not happy with animal control's response. 

"We were hoping they would tranquilize the bear and move it to the mountains where it belongs, not here in Tyson's Corner," Tysse said. 

They live in the Summerwood neighborhood off of Spring Hill Road across the street from the Spring Hill Rec Center and  several athletic fields, where the bear was apparently seen Monday evening. But officials say, there no cause for concern. 

Fairfax County Police Spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell says it's not unusual to see bears in Fairfax County this time of year.  She says they are young bears looking for food and moving great distances.   
Fairfax County says it's not their policy to remove bears unless they are sick or injured, or a posing a public threat.     

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