Tuesday morning was very eventful for Virginia Ann Coleman and her neighbors off of Grant Street in Norfolk.
Shortly after Coleman’s son ran into the house, she heard a commotion coming from the entrance to her home.
“I open the front door and there’s literally a bear in my mud room with a bag of garbage in its mouth pulling it outside,” Coleman said during an interview Wednesday.
She said the bear was about 4 feet tall, and it did not enter the rest of the home.
Coleman says she thinks she knows what the bear smelled once he got close to her home with the door open.
“He dragged the bag outside and then he opened it up more, took the bag, because I always double bag the chicken bones and he dragged it across the neighbor’s yard.”The bear never went further into the home than the mudroom, and he spent the next 10 minutes devouring whatever food scraps were left in the bag. Another neighbor, Jon Roraback, then saw the bear after he was done with the garbage.
He said, “I heard this commotion and the clanging bat banging and everything and then I looked outside and saw the neighbor driving his van through the yard and finally I saw the bear in the yard and it all made sense.”
A neighbor drove his minivan all over the lawns and yards of the neighborhood to scare the bear into running off. Roraback said it worked.
“He was kind of nibbling at the trees and everything and not really minding the neighbor with his van right there honking at him, but he kind of scooted along eventually and went on over in that direction.”
He added that bears are part of life in their neighborhood which is close to some densely wooded areas. He says they need to adjust their own habits for their own safety and for the bears.
“We got to coexist with them. They’re not bad but we’ve got to learn how to live with them.”