ROCKY MOUNT - On , the Main Branch of the Franklin County Public Library will hold an information session on how to co-exist safely with the local black bear population. Across Virginia, including Franklin County, there are an estimated 17,000-18,000 black bears.
May and June see increased black bear activity with bears seeking sources of food following hibernation. Able to adapt to suburban and urbanizing environments, black bears are opportunistic feeders that go where the food is.
In the information session, Officer Tyler Sheets from the Department of Virginia Game & Inland Fisheries will dispel myths about black bear behavior, explain what attracts bears to human populated areas, and discuss easy, practical ways to deter bears from neighborhoods and businesses. Officer Sheets will also discuss what to do when bears are observed in agricultural environments and in the woods.
As human populations increase and move into traditional wildlife habitat, human/wildlife contact is becoming more prevalent. According to Officer Sheets, spring and summer are times of increased calls to law enforcement due to reports of black bears in backyards, near day care centers and schools, and near businesses. The information session will include guidelines on how to minimize bear-human interactions.
“Many people are confused about how to live safely with black bears,” said Christine Arena, Coordinator of Programming & Outreach for the Franklin County Public Library “The Library is holding the bear safety program to give the public simple, proven ways to avoid attracting bears to our yards and neighborhoods and hopefully relieve people’s fear and uncertainty.”
The bear safety information session will be held (540) 483-3098 opt 0., Franklin County Library-Main Branch, 355 Franklin St, Rocky Mount, VA 24151. Please register at