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The original item was published from 5/29/2020 3:58:17 PM to 6/13/2020 12:00:03 AM.

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Purcellville News Flash

Posted on: May 29, 2020

[ARCHIVED] News Release - Bear Sighting and Public Safety

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                    Contact:  Lt. Barry Dufek

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                           540-338-7422




PURCELLVILLE, Va. May 29, 2020 — Early this morning, May 29, 2020, a call was received by the Emergency Communication Center, regarding black bear sightings in the Locust Grove neighborhood near Emerick Elementary School. Officers responded to the sightings, and Loudoun County Animal Services was contacted as well, it was a peaceful encounter; the bear did not show signs of sickness, injury, or aggression. According to the Humane Law Enforcement Officer, the bear appeared to be a small cub, and unless it seemed sick or injured, the bear would remain in the wild.

Sightings in the spring are common, due in part to juvenile male bears searching for territories to call their own, and the breeding season for the black bear is late spring to early summer. Adult males may travel beyond their normal range searching for mates. For more information, regarding black bears visit Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Bears generally avoid humans, but they may roam into suburban residential areas. So, what should you do if you see a bear? The most important response is to keep a respectful distance. A black bear would rather flee than have an encounter with people. Do not run, running could prompt the bear’s instinct to chase. If the bear has not seen you, calmly leave the area, while making a bit of noise, so you do not surprise the bear. If the bear has seen you, back away slowly while facing the bear. Speaking softly may also let the bear know you mean no harm. In the unlikely event, that a black bear approaches you, make noise and look big. Black bears have been driven away with rocks, sticks and even bare hands.

To reduce the chances of attracting a bear to residential areas, follow these simple steps:

  • Secure your garbage in bear resistant trashcans or store it in a secure building.
  • Keep your grill clean.
  • Do not leave pet food outdoors.
  • Remove bird feeders if a bear is in the area.
  • Do not put meat scraps in your compost pile.
  • Make sure your neighbors are following the same recommendations.

If by chance, you get to see a black bear, feel free to report it to Loudoun County Animal Services at 703-777-0406.

The Town of Purcellville, Virginia

“Purcellville-your small Town, where history and progress intersect and people prosper,” is an award-winning town of over 10,000 residents located in Loudoun County, approximately 50 miles west of Washington, DC. Having received the prestigious Siemens Sustainability Award for Small Communities, Purcellville continues to be honored for its green initiatives with most recently being the Tree City USA recipient for the 12th year. The Town was reaffirmed as a AAA rated community by S&P Global Ratings, the highest credit rating possible, and is ranked “Safest City” in Virginia in 2020. Once a stop along the W&OD rail line, which has been converted to a multi-use trail from Alexandria, VA to Purcellville, the Town has maintained its historic old-town feel through the restoration and maintenance of its many downtown structures, reflecting the Victorian architecture popular during the early 1900s. Today, Purcellville is the economic hub of western Loudoun County and a popular weekend destination for antiquing, equestrian activities, farmer’s markets, wineries, breweries, distilleries and restaurants. More info at


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