Another bear spotted at Martinsburg VA center

June 09, 2007|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - For the second time in three weeks, a black bear has visited the grounds of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center near Martinsburg.

Police at the hospital spotted the bear Thursday around 10 p.m. in a wooded area about one-quarter mile from the building, said Barbara Corbin, the hospital's public affairs officer.

Officers from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and Berkeley County Animal Control were called, but when DNR officials arrived, the bear climbed up a tree.

A DNR officer waited through the night at the base of the tree until tranquilizers could be brought in to get the bear down. The bear was tranquilized Friday about 11 a.m. and taken to Sleepy Creek Lake.


Police at the hospital locked the facility down Friday morning before the bear was tranquilized and removed, but opened the doors soon afterward, Corbin said.

Another black bear was seen May 23 on the hospital grounds. That bear also was tranquilized and removed from the property by DNR and animal control officers.

Kevin Jones, a Berkeley County Animal Control officer, said the second bear was a cub, while the first was full grown.

Jones said he is not sure why the bears are coming to the hospital grounds.

"We don't really know, but anytime you start cutting down trees and building, you're invading their natural habitat," Jones said. "This kind of thing happens around here."

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