UPDATE 5:25 p.m.: The bear was shot with a tranquilizer, taken into custody and is slumbering in an Animal Control vehicle, Borman said. The bear will be taken in for a 24-hour evaluation by the state biologist and then relocated.
VIRGINIA BEACH -- Animal control is working to capture a baby bear spotted in Virginia Beach Friday afternoon.
The bear was sighted in the 3300 block of Ocean Shore Avenue around 3 p.m.
VBPD Marine Patrol and other citizens were keeping track of the bear from the water, directing patrol officers to its location, according to Beach spokeswoman Tonya Borman.
Animal Control and Virginia Beach Police have the bear contained after it climbed a tree near Dolphin Road.
A state biologist is en route, Borman told WVEC.com.
Data shows the bear population statewide is growing 7 percent each year, according to Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries. Some of that increase is due to triplet cubs, which is rare.
There are about 18,000 black bears in the state of Virginia. The Great Dismal Swamp has an estimated one bear per square mile.
Tips to deter bears:
Do not store household trash, or anything that smells like food, in vehicles, on porches or decks.
Keep your full or empty trash containers secured in a garage, shed or basement.
If you have a trash collection service, put your trash out the morning of the pickup, not the night before. Otherwise, take garbage to the dump frequently.
Take down your birdfeeder and keep it down for 3-4 weeks after the bear visits. It may return looking for food, but likely won't return after a few failed attempts to find it.
Consider installing electric fencing, an inexpensive and extremely efficient proven deterrent to bears, around dumpsters, gardens, beehives, or other potential food sources.