Concerns After Bear Cub Spotted at School

Oct. 29, 2013

Students and staff at Henley Middle School in Albemarle County are on alert after a bear cub wandered onto on school grounds Monday.

Henley Middle School's principal sent out a notice to parents asking students to be alert. Several of the students in the Old Trail neighborhood walk through heavily wooded trails each day.

Sixth-grader Davis Long says he and many of his friends make the trek to and from school.

"It kind of worried me a first, but then my mom told me what to do. She said she ran into bear hiking one time," Long said.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries say black bears are trying to put on weight this time of year before denning. The agency says the acorn yield, one of the bears' primary foods, is low so bears are looking for food elsewhere.

Old Trail resident Tony Alimenti says he's not taking any chances, and making sure all food and trash is out of reach of a hungry bear.

"Any bird feeders and stuff I have are behind the fence. I figure the animals, bears, and what-not are going for stuff that's easy," Alimenti said.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries advises any students who comes across a bear to back away slowly, and keep in mind that bears don't want to be around humans, as much as humans don't want to be around bears.

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