The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) is investigating an encounter between a black bear and a woman in the Mayfield Road area of Morgantown, West Virginia, according to Colin Carpenter, black bear project leader for the DNR.
DNR personnel are searching for a female black bear with two orange ear tags. The sow is likely to be accompanied by two yearlings. Monongalia County residents who spot that specific animal should contact the District DNR office in Farmington at 304-825-6787.
To avoid potentially dangerous situations, DNR personnel want to remind residents that bears quickly become habituated to handouts in the form of trash, bird seed, pet food and feed placed out for other animals. As a result, they lose their fear of humans. Bears that have lost their fear of humans resort to raiding garbage, outdoor freezers, storage sheds, vehicles and other structures associated with people.
Feeding of any wildlife should be avoided for numerous reasons. These include but are not limited to: disease transmission, increased predation, habitat destruction around the feeding site, ethical concerns, and the animal’s overall health. Residents are reminded to secure their bird seed, pet food and trash to ensure that black bears remain wild and free in West Virginia.