Virginia man fined $500 for repeatedly feeding bears

Black Bear

CHENGDU, CHINA – SEPTEMBER 9: (CHINA OUT) A black bear looks up from its pen at the Moon Bear Rescue Centre September 9, 2006 in Chengdu of Sichuan Province, China. Established in 2002, the center has saved about 185 bears from bear farms, where farmers milked their bile for profit and now it houses 168 […]

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — State wildlife officials think they’ve solved a bear problem in Linden, Virginia.

For years, neighbors had complained about bears looking in their windows, damaging their homes and cars and injuring their pets.

Earlier this month, neighborhood resident Jeffrey Sylvia was convicted of violating Virginia’s law against feeding bears and was fined $500.

The Department of Game & Inland Fisheries said the bears caused thousands of dollars in property damage.

Sylvia did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday. A conservation police officer wrote in a criminal complaint that Sylvia admitted he had been feeding the bears and said his intent was to protect them from being shot by poachers.

Wildlife officials said Sylvia said he had been spending more than $10,000 a year on food for the bears.

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