Martinsville animal control officer EC Stone said black bear sightings in southwest Virginia are not unheard of. The most recent examples he could remember happened in the spring of 2016. He said he spent an entire day chasing a black bear around the city. He says it got so tired at one point that it laid down in the Roselawn Cemetery and took a 10-minute break while Stone chased it. This latest reported sighting was on Mulberry Road. Stone said sightings have been reported there before. A bear was also reportedly spotted on Governor’s Lane in Ridgeway. Reminder – if you encounter a bear, make loud noises, wave your arms in the air, maintain eye contact, and slowly back away. Remember, discharging a firearm in the city is against the law unless it’s a dire emergency. You’re less likely to encounter a bear on your property if you do not leave pet food or trash outdoors.