July 6, 2007
There have been an unusual amount of black bear sightings in Virginia this year. The mysterious boost in sightings is puzzling for the State Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
Jerry Sims, a regional manager for the department, says that bear sightings are way up. Virginia's estimated bear population is between six and 10,000.
The department doesn't keep a tally of the total number of bear sightings but Sims has received three to four sightings a day just in his region which stretches from the Richmond area up the Interstate 95 to northern Virginia and west to Blue Ridge.
Sims says that most days ten years ago there were no sightings. But no one seems to know why sightings have jumped up this year. He guesses that it's possible bears aren't finding enough food in the woods.