Bear sightings are reason for concern

Published 9:54 pm Friday, July 15, 2011

To the editor:

The city of Suffolk and the wildlife authorities are not taking the citizens of Nansemond Parkway very seriously when it comes to the issues we are having with the very large mama bear and her baby bears roaming the community.

There have been many sightings of these bears throughout the community, from the area near Nansemond River High School to the area around Wilroy Industrial Park.

Email newsletter signup

We have contacted both the city and the wildlife authorities many times concerning this issue, only to be told — especially by wildlife authorities — not to worry. “These bears are not going to bother you,” they say. “This is not a largely populated area.”

Are you kidding me? The Nansemond Parkway area is one of the more populated areas in the city. One of the most recent sightings was right beside a church, in someone’s backyard, which is walking distance away from hundreds of houses.

And they say it’s not a largely populated area. What?!?

I live in the 3500 block of Nansemond Parkway, and just three weeks ago, that same baby bear was in my tree, in my front yard at about 5 p.m. The big mama bear was spotted in my neighbor’s driveway at 7 p.m. that same evening.

These sightings have been going on too long in this community to be further ignored. We should not have to endure this situation without action being taken by the city. This is a bear attack on humans — or at least a very serious automobile accident — waiting to happen.

The city and the wildlife authorities need to do just like the Virginia Beach authorities did — take these bears to the Dismal Swamp, where they belong.

Remember, school begins in six weeks. Nansemond Parkway has four schools on this stretch of highway, including thousands of students and many student drivers.

Michael Jones