CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Many people install cameras outside of their homes to catch thieves, porch pirates and other unwanted guests. But Lynn Lester, who lives in the Skinquarter area of Chesterfield, used her camera to catch a different type of unwanted guest.

Lester said a large black bear frequents her backyard, destroying her white picket fence, knocking down bird houses and poking its nose within feet from her door. This visitor forced her and her husband to take down their bird feeders in an effort to deter the large animal from wandering too far onto her property.

“You don’t know when you walk out your house if he’s going to meet you around the corner of the house or not,” Lester said.

With nine grandchildren, Lester worries about the bear’s visits. After the first few instances of the bear strolling around her property, Lester contacted the local wildlife center to see if they could trap and remove the bear from her property. However, state officials can only remove wildlife if the animals have proven to be a major nuisance, or if they pose an immediate threat.

Lester and her husband believe education and awareness are key to protecting themselves and their neighbors.

“If you aren’t sure, ask people around, start researching ⁠— are they really predators?” Lester said. “He does look cuddly, but I don’t want to find out.”

The local wildlife center says black bear sightings in Chesterfield are surprisingly common, so if you see one of these creatures nearby, maintain your distance and make noise to scare it away.