SUFFOLK -- A black bear is back in the wild after providing some wild entertainment in Whaleyville Friday afternoon.

The bear climbed a tree at a home along Whalyeville Boulevard. It's the house where Amos Goodman has lived for about 25 years.

'He was up in the tree. Every once in awhile, he looked around and said, 'I want you to take my picture,' you know,' said Goodman. 'He was laying up on the limb there. Every once in awhile, he'd look around, blink his eye, you know what I mean, he's still alive.'

Police and a game warden from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries got a call to the scene about 3:30 p.m.

They found the bear, weighing approximately 200-300 pounds, relaxing about 20 feet in the air, where he stayed for more than 2 hours.

'When the officer got here, he whistled at him and clapped his hands hand, and he was just enjoying him a snooze,' Jerry Wood told 13News, as he laughed.

Wood called 911 after someone driving by his and Goodman's homes saw the bear. The driver thought it was Wood's tree.

'Amos invited me over to see the bear in the tree,' said Russell Conner. 'It was sort of exciting to see a bear up in a tree.'

After the bear was tranquilized, the biologist on scene transported the uninjured bear to a safer location, where it was released.

Police say spotting black bears in Suffolk is nothing unusual, considering the proximity to the Great Dismal Swamp.

Residents can minimize negative interactions with bears by following some simple guidelines:

  • Secure your garbage: Store garbage indoors, in a shed, in a garage, or in a bear-proof container.
  • Put garbage out the morning of pick-up, not the night before.
  • Pick up pet food. Feed pets only what they will eat in a single feeding or feed them indoors. Remove the food bowl soon after pets finish. Pick up uneaten food. Do not leave food out overnight.
  • Remove the bird feeder: Bears consume seed and nuts found in the wild, so bird feeders become a favored target for bears.
  • Clean the outdoor grill often.
  • Do not put meat scraps or any other strong-smelling food in the compost pile. Consider an enclosed compost bin.
  • Do not leave strong-smelling food in your vehicles.
  • Pick up and remove ripe fruit from fruit trees and surrounding grounds.
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