Forensic investigation of dead black bear found in plastic bag en route: AWLA

Animal Welfare League of Arlington is investigating the circumstances behind the deceased bear and its apparent disposal in a plastic bag.

| Updated

ARLINGTON, VA – Days after a deceased black bear was discovered in a plastic bag in the North Highlands neighborhood, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington still doesn’t know what caused the death or if it was the same bear seen in Yorktown last month.

On Monday morning, AWLA spokeswoman Cheslea Jones told Patch that they were still awaiting a forensic report from the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, which would hopefully shed light on the cause of the bear’s death and the circumstances surrounding its apparent removal. She added that AWLA has not yet received any tips about the bear.


After a black bear was reported in the Yorktown area last month, AWLA monitored its movements across the county and advised residents to avoid interacting with the animal.

“We tend to have about one a year,” Jones said at the time. “It’s the time of year when the yearlings leave their mothers and head out to find their own territory. Basically our animal control just keeps a close eye on his location and follows him as he makes his way wherever he goes goes, from Arlington. He won’t stay here.’

As to whether it was the same bear, Jones said Monday that the bear DWL investigated was found in North Arlington and the one in May was spotted in South Arlington. That’s all AWLA knew.

An Arlington resident who was walking his dog with his son on a trail in the North Highlands on Friday discovered a large plastic bag containing a dead bear, according to a post on the Neighbors app.

“I was walking with my son and dog on a trail near our home in Arlington,” in the North Highlands neighborhood west of Rosslyn, the Neighbors post said, according to ARLNow. “My dog ​​came close to a large black garbage bag and I noticed a bad smell and lots of flies. I got a little closer and saw her and what looked like an ear. It looks like a bear’s ear.”

On Saturday, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington released the following statement:

“On Friday, May 31 at approximately 8:30 p.m., the Animal Welfare League of Arlington’s Animal Control was dispatched to the area of ​​Spout Run Parkway near N. Adams Street for a suspected deceased dog in a plastic bag near a walking trail. Upon arrival, Deputy Swetnam identified it animal as an adult black bear. Our chief of wildlife officer, Jennifer Toussaint, was dispatched to the scene, along with a wildlife officer from the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources to support Deputy Swetnam.

Related: Bear visits Arlington; Take trash inside, leash your pets

When the discovery of the dead bear was reported Friday evening, AWLA contacted the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, which sent a wildlife officer to the scene. Following an investigation there, the officer assisted AWLA in removing the bear.

Anyone with information about the incident, especially if anyone saw someone carrying a large plastic bag in the Spout Run Parkway area near N. Adams Street, is asked to contact AWLA at 703-931-9241 or email to [email protected].

Back To Top