Some of you are probably thinking “yea so…we see bears all the time where we live”…but it’s not that common around the beltway of our nation’s capital.
I have lived in the Washington DC area my entire life and last week was the first time I ever saw a bear in or around the DC area let alone on our property!
It appears that the bear we sighted was an American Black Bear. The American Black Bear is the smallest of the 3 species of bears found in the United States and they are only found in North America. I was happy to find out that black bears are omnivorous. They eat plants, fruits, nuts, insects, honey, salmon, and small mammals. In northern regions, they eat spawning salmon. Black bears will also occasionally kill young deer or moose calves.
The American black bear lives throughout North America, from Canada to Mexico and in at least 40 of the United States. They historically occupied nearly all of the forested regions of North America, but in the U.S. they are now restricted to the forested areas less densely occupied by humans. So how did one wonder into our back yard in Northern Virginia?
Let me tell you it was a very weird site. Our family was lounging in the family room and kitchen when my 10 year old son says “there’s a bear in our backyard”! I thought yea..ok…sure.
Low and behold, I got myself off the sofa to look out the window…and yup..he was right. A big black bear outside our fenced in backyard just strolling by.
I didn’t get a good picture but I did post the sighting to my Instagram Stories. I ran out to the backyard and started filming this incredibly unusual site. The kids ran outside with me. The bear wandered over to our neighbor’s yard and ran away when they started pulling out of their driveway.
It’s funny but I wasn’t scared of the bear, I thought he was kind of cute. Maybe I should have been more scared? I am deathly afraid of snakes – the sight of those slivery reptiles gives me the creeps 🤢..but not bears…why is that? My husband later told me, he could easily have hopped the fence and attacked us. I never really thought about that…maybe because we never see bears in Northern Virgina.
Wildlife is abundant in our area to include deer, turkey, snakes, fowls, raccoons, groundhogs..many of the typical animals you would expect to see living in the country. But the bear sighting was really weird, not something I will soon forget. I also discovered that black bears are more afraid of us that we are of them, so an attack is unlikely…unless they are really hungry? 🤷♀️
How about you, what is the strangest animal you have seen on or around your property?
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