WAYNESBORO -- This week, the Waynesboro Police Department says it has received 50 to 55 calls to report bear sightings in the city.
No attacks or accidents have occurred and officers say its likely a mother a few cubs who are roving around the area.
According to the police department, the overcrowding of bears at George Washington National Forest is causing bears to migrate towards the city.
More bears are coming to the area, and on Friday morning, Mike McDaniel saw one in his neighbor's backyard on Elkin Circle.
He was able to capture several pictures of the mid-size bear, which he estimated to be around 200 pounds, as it walked around and searched for food.
He says the bear took down a stand holding bird food, but after a while, it went quietly back into the woods.
'It was a rush. I had never seen a bear before. My neighbor said black bears are not aggressive, so I'm not too concerned," he explained. "They're just here to eat. If they find some bird feed or food, that's what they're going to go for."
McDaniel added that he was glad to have a fence in his backyard, especially now.
"The bear has pretty good access to my neighbor's yard. I've seen foxes, groundhogs, and deer. This was the first time I saw a bear back there."
The Waynesboro Police Department says if anyone in the city happens to see a bear, do not feed it. The animals are searching for food and feeding them may bring more bears to the area.
More importantly, one should always keep a safe distance from the bear and never approach it.
If you see a bear, law enforcement says to report the sighting.
The Waynesboro Police Department can be reached during a non-emergency by calling (540) 942-6701.
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