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There's a bear roaming around Danville. Best advice from police: Just leave it be.
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There's a bear roaming around Danville. Best advice from police: Just leave it be.

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A bear was spotted in the Piney Forest area Friday, police reported, attracted by enticing smells of food.

Bear sightings this time of year are not unusual, Lt. Richard Chivvis said. This time of year, many adolescent bears go through the natural process of splitting away from their parents.

“Every year, May and June, we get these calls because these young male bears are kicked away from their mommas,” Chivvis said.

Though it proves a tempting photo opportunity for many — photos of the bear have circulated on social media — police recommend residents do not approach it.

“Keep your distance, stay calm and let it leave because they have a greater fear of us than we do of them,” Chivvis said.

This is not Danville’s first bear sighting. In 2014, a black bear posted up in a tree on Main Street, prompting the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to tranquilize and remove it.

Chivvis said police are monitoring the area, but bears that wander into the city usually leave after two or three days.

“As long as they have an avenue of escape, they will leave,” he said.

—James Whitlow

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