Local News

Bear spotted roaming Granville County subdivision

Posted May 27, 2008
Updated May 28, 2008

— Two days after bears were spotted in northwest Raleigh, two developers said they saw a bear in southern Granville County Tuesday afternoon.

Greg and Susan Benner, who are developing the Brassfield subdivision near Creedmoor, said a bear that looked to be about 200 pounds showed up in the neighborhood at about 1 p.m.

They couldn't get a camera out in time to snap a photo of the animal, but they said they won't forget watching the bear emerge from the woods.

"A bear? What's it doing here?" Susan Benner said she thought. "Because you realize, 'I'm not in a zoo.'"

On Sunday morning, at least nine people reported seeing an adult black bear and a cub in the Brier Creek area of northwest Raleigh and in nearby Durham County. Wake County deputies said they found bear tracks along Mt. Herman and Norwood roads.

Authorities said they believe a bear and her cub are making their way through the Triangle and urged people to report any sightings of the animals.

"That bear was just as scared as the people that saw it,” N.C. wildlife biologist Colleen Olfenbuttel said.

The state's bear biologist said the bear population is thriving in North Carolina – particularly along the coast.

"Some of the bears that people are seeing are probably also Virginia bears coming down, also looking for empty territory,” Olfenbuttel said.

The bears are not only looking for new territory, but also food. Am empty stomach could be the reason there were so many bear sightings over the weekend. Bears have a keen sense of smell, and Memorial Day grilling probably lured them into neighborhoods, Olfenbuttel said.

"If they aren't getting fed either intentionally or unintentionally by people, they are going to keep moving on,” Olfenbuttel added.

Bears can travel 20 to 40 miles in a day. The animals are attracted to trash, birdseed and dirty grills.

If you do see a bear, don't panic or approach the animal. Call your local law enforcement agency or the N.C .Wildlife Resources Commission.


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  • Its me again May 28, 2008

    I'd rather have the bear than a gang!

  • KChan725 May 28, 2008

    Southern Fried Yankee you made me laugh so hard!!

    Since we're talking about deporting the bear, send him back to Mother Russia!!

  • KChan725 May 28, 2008

    The best part of this story was this:

    "A bear? What's it doing here?" Benner said she thought. "Because you realize, 'I'm not in a zoo.'"

    This was the best statement ever. Where did she think the bear came from? This happens all the time when developing. Animals' habitat is destroyed and then they have no where to go. So off they wander into a neighborhood or something else.

    I'm sure that bear thought "People? Where am I? You realize this is not the woods"

  • jse830fcnawa030klgmvnnaw+ May 28, 2008

    ltflythe, how large is your carbon footprint?

    More development, less trees, more pollution, no real mass transit system, same size county...

  • PikeMom4real May 28, 2008

    WHY is this such a miraculous discovery? I have seen bears my entire life.Is it people moving down here from the North,..What is it? Black Bears are NO big deal.You can see them all the time in Pitt County.

  • smeade1 May 28, 2008

    Way to go, doglover! I, too, am a native, and like you, feel like the Triangle is overdeveloped; that's why I moved to the country; couldn't handle the crowd and attitudes any longer. In response to jautrey's question, "where would they live"?; the answer is simple...somewhere else! Let the bear and cub make it's way to whereever it's going and as long as folks are aware and take precautions and don't act foolish, it will be ok. Geez

  • Mama Wuf May 28, 2008

    How many of you complaining about over development live in a neighborhoood or apartment complex? That land had to be developed for you to live there! And yes, I've lived here all my life, so I've seen all the changes. But, since I live in a house of my own, I can't tell others they can't either! Plus, LET PEOPLE DO WHAT THEY WANT WITH THEIR OWN LAND. This is America isn't it?

  • iluvwilmy May 28, 2008

    poor little bear-he was just hungee...hims was lookin for some burgers and hotdogs on da grill...

    dont feed him though! bears are smart and know where to get food from-havent you ever seen the bears that you can feel peanuts to at grandfather mtn?

  • RocknRollDoctor May 28, 2008

    Would somebody please close the gate!

  • Boot-the-DC-Tyrant May 28, 2008

    That's what happens when you over develop and do it at a pace that is just so over bearing and annoying.

    Get a clue developers! You suck!