Water, Earth, Sky

Scott Shenk writes about the environment.

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Bear in the ‘burg

June Calafactor, who lives along Lafayette Boulevard, said she was driving up toward the subdivision a little after 11 when she first saw it.  ”It went right across from me, straight up the hill” where the houses are, she said. “It was a huge black bear, and it was coming right down that strip that comes out of Idlewild. I was right on top of it.” She called police and the animal control office.  Calafactor said she’s seen a bear before, and that a man in a van had also stopped and reported seeing it.

Natasha Bledsoe, spokeswoman for the Fredericksburg Police Department said this afternoon that the bear had been sighted along the Interstate 95 ramp,  along Gateway Boulevard, then heading into Idlewild. It eventually went back into the woods and disappeared. Bledsoe had this advice if you see it: “Don’t approach it,  and don’t feed it.”

Lt. Ronald Warren, assistant regional manager for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, said the department’s office in the city was notified, and that the bear will probably move on.  Young male bears are typically on the move this time of year, he said. “They’re trying to get all the food they can before they tuck in for the winter.” He said if you see it, make some noise and it will move on.

“If you’re in Front Royal, this is just about an every-week occurrence” this time of year, he said.