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PHOTOS: The best West End black bear pictures

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – The black bear roaming the West End of Henrico County has been making headlines for about a week. We’ve seen distant photos of the bear [click here] and medium range video of the bear [click here], but these might be the closest, clearest images of the bear published to date.

A CBS 6 viewer named Tom Topinka emailed in these images taken from his backyard in the Raintree neighborhood near Gaskins Road.

Topinka said he took these photos last Friday evening around 7 p.m.

“The bear spent about 20 minutes under our feeders enjoying first the suet, next the hulled sunflower seeds and finally the black oil sunflower seeds,” he said.

Topinka said he shot the photos from inside his sun room and was about 15 – 20 feet from the bear. He said the animal did not seem aggressive in any way, just young.

He said in the days since he took the photos, he believes the bear returned to eat from another bird feeder in his yard. Topinka said he has kept the feeder empty ever since.

Here are some reminders about bears from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries:

  • Respect the bear’s space.
  • If the bear is on or near your property, do not escalate the situation by approaching, crowding around, or chasing the bear. This also applies to bears that have climbed a tree.
  • The best thing you can do is leave it alone.
  • Bears are naturally afraid of humans and will look for escape routes.