Bear sighting near Round Hill Elementary surprises neighbors

ROANOKE, Va. – A bear in the backyard was an unexpected visitor for some Star City neighborhoods and nearby Round Hill Elementary on Wednesday.

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources sent a crew to check it out at the school, according to spokesperson Paige Pearson.

“Searched the area, made sure, looked up in the trees, trash cans stuff like that, made sure there weren’t any bears behind anything that they could get big bushes or anything like that,” Pearson said. “They looked around the entire school to make sure everything was good and didn’t see any sign of a bear.”

The bear was later found off 10th Street near the I-581 bridge, where there are more people and pets.

Neighbor Joe Word said his next-door neighbor alerted him to the bear that ran through her yard.

He said he’s glad his dogs were fenced in when it happened, and wildlife officials should keep an eye on it.

“They can’t leave it alone, “ Word said. “Something got to be done about it. Something definitely got to be done about it.”

President of the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center Sabrina Garvin said that bears are actually common in the area, she said nearby Valley View has a lot of restaurants and businesses with trash that attracts them.

Garvin said it’s up to the Department of Game and biologists as to how they take action.

“If it kept hanging around, I’m sure that they would intervene and possibly try to tranquilize it, move it on, but I can’t say what they would do,” Garvin said. “Typically, it’s an area with a lot of food, a lot of dumpsters around the restaurants, so let’s hope it moves on, otherwise they may intervene.”

Word says he’s got nothing but well wishes, as long as it stays away from his home.

“Take care bear wherever you at,” Word said. “You know just don’t come ‘round here.”

About the Author:

Amy Cockerham joined the 10 News team in January 2023.