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10-29-2007, 08:53 PM
Video Available to Help Virginians Live with Bears


Richmond, Virginia This past year, wildlife biologists and Conservation Police Officers with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) responded to a tremendous number of calls about property and agricultural damage caused by black bears. The upswing in bear sightings and reports of bear damage has lead VDGIF to produce a new video called Living with Black Bears in Virginia. The agency has completed production and is rolling the video out now to schools, localities, libraries, parks, and public television stations. The general public can watch the video on the Department's Web site: www.dgif.virginia.gov (http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/).

The video includes footage of undesirable bear behavior and demonstrates what people can do to keep bears from developing those behaviors. In addition, the video contains information on the bear population and current bear management in Virginia. Virginia residents and visitors can learn valuable tips on living in or visiting bear country including what you should do if you see a bear and how to discourage a bear from hanging around your property.

Wildlife biologists and other staff with VDGIF developed the video as an educational tool to dispel myths about black bears and to help educate people about how to coexist with bears. Black bears are native to Virginia and occur nearly statewide. Black bears are solitary and generally non-confrontational, but conflicts can occur when they associate people with food sources.

To learn more about black bears, visit the Department's Web site at: www.dgif.virginia.gov (http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/).

VDGIF now offers streaming video on the Web site highlighting such topics as the National Archery in the Schools Program, timber rattlesnakes and Virginia's Wildlife Action Plan. More educational and informational videos will be developed and posted in the future.

It is the mission of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to maintain optimum populations of all species to serve the needs of the Commonwealth; to provide opportunity for all to enjoy wildlife, inland fish, boating and related outdoor recreation; and to promote safety for persons and property in connection with these outdoor activities.

Media Contact:
Jaime Sajecki, VDGIF Black Bear Project Leader , 804-367-8001