DNR Catches four bears in Raleigh County

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – The DNR caught a mama bear and her three cubs that were trapped inside an apartment complex dumpster in Raleigh County.

On Thursday, Sept. 17, Beckley West Apartments residents witnessed four bears going through their trash.  

“We have been receiving multiple calls from the Beckley West Apartment Complex about bears in the dumpsters. Some of the calls that were coming in was a female bear, and her three clubs and the club have been getting stuck inside the dumpster just because of the depth of the dumpster they couldn’t get out on their own,” Wildlife Biologist Todd Dowdy said. 

A momma bear was founded behind a dumpster, and her three cubs were trapped inside. WV-DNR says they believe all four of the bears climbed inside of the dumpster looking for food, and then the mama bear was not able to get her cubs out. 

“We went up there once or twice to remove the cubs from the dumpster, but this time we were able to catch all three cubs inside the dumpster and dart the female and remove all the bears from the facility,” Dowdy said.   

Authorities were able to remove all the cubs from the dumpster and relocate the bears to a safe area in McDowell County.

“The biggest problem with these situations is that the bears get conditioned to these dumpsters eating human food. Once they get conditioned to a dumpster, then they move on to residential areas looking for human food, and the more they get into area sources, the less fear of humans they become,” Dowdy said. 

If you see a bear, you are encouraged to contact your local office of the Department of Natural Resources.