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2 bears reported near a Woodbridge, Va. elementary school

Saturday - 9/17/2011, 8:37am  ET

Michelle Basch, wtop.com

WOODBRIDGE, Va. - There are some things you're being asked to do following a reported sighting of two bears near a local elementary school.

A mother bear and cub were reportedly seen near Antietam Elementary School in Woodbridge Friday morning. They were not spotted on school property, but on a nearby street called Marsala Court.

Prince William County Police did not find the animals when they responded to the call, but the school is asking parents to take precautions.

A message on the school's website includes this advice: "For your child's safety, please ensure that an adult supervises any outdoor play time. We appreciate your assistance by accompanying walkers to and from school. The safety of your child is our top priority."

The county police animal control bureau says to discourage bears from hanging around, you should get rid of things around your home that they might like to munch on like garbage, pet food, bird feeders and barbecue grills.

Also, don't store anything that smells like food on your porch or deck or in your car.

If you see a bear on your property, leave it alone, give it space and bring your pets inside.

If you see a bear cub that appears to be alone, don't try to "rescue" it. The mother bear is probably close by.

There are more tips here from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. They've even produced a video about living with bears in Virginia:

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)