Local News

Bear killed on I-85 in Orange County

Posted June 29, 2009

— North Carolina Department of Transportation officials have removed the remains of a small black bear from Interstate 85 near Hillsborough.

DOT authorities said Monday that they believe a tractor-trailer or other large vehicle struck the bear, found near Lawrence Road. No vehicle fragments were found near the bear, and traffic was not affected.

Durham residents recall bear sightings Durham residents recall bear sightings

It wasn't clear if the dead bear was the same one that Durham animal control officers, police officials and residents have reported seeing wandering around neighborhoods and near stores since Thursday.

Wildlife officials say bear spotting do occur in the region, but are not common.

"We have had in the past few years, in the Durham County area alone, probably three sightings,” said Michael Edmiston, with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

Bear sightings reported in Durham

Anna and Andrew Mosie reported seeing a bear in their back yard Sunday afternoon at 213 Vanderbilt Court.

Earlier in the weekend, several people reported seeing a bear in the vicinity of Durham Regional Hospital, at 3643 N. Roxboro St.

James Yuill said he and his wife had a close encounter with a bear while taking their newborn baby home from the hospital shortly before midnight Friday. They had gotten into their vehicle when he saw what he thought was a bear suit bounding toward them across the parking lot.

As it moved closer, Yuill said, he quickly realized it was a real bear, "pretty good sized" and very muscular.

He and another woman in the parking lot called hospital security and 911.

“I didn't know there were bears in this part of North Carolina, much less downtown Durham,” Yuill said.

Steve Jones, a Triangle blogger, took a photo Saturday night of a bear in a wooded area Edison Johnson Rec Center, on Murray Avenue, and the hospital.

View Bear sightings reported in a larger map

A Durham County Animal Control spokeswoman said they first received reports Thursday of a bear around Berini Drive and Cole Mill Road.

Jan Orendorff said she spotted a bear having a snack from her bird feeder Thursday.

“He stood up as high as the shepherd’s hook and just pulled it (a bird feeder) right over. He then laid down and enjoyed his feast,” Orendorff said.

Orendorff said the bear stayed in her yard for about 20 minutes and then walked back into the woods.

Also on Thursday, a WRAL.com visitor reported seeing a bear at 3720 Shoccoree Drive, off Cole Mill Road, and another visitor reported seeing a large black bear near the back door of a house.

On Friday, a visitor reported a sighting of a bear looking into a window at 2726 Croasdaile Drive around 2:30 p.m.. It then ran toward a nearby shopping center, the visitor told WRAL News in an e-mail.

A short time later, the manager of a UPS store, at 1821 Hillandale Road, reported a little bear bumping into the store's door.

Also on Friday, Durham police reported another sighting of the bear at Duke and Leon streets Friday. A visitor told WRAL News that the bear was also seen at 906 Hudson Ave.

A string of bear sightings were reported last May and June in urbanized area, including Cumberland, Durham, Granville, Moore and Wake counties.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission's Web site reports that the black-bear population has thrived, particularly along the coast. Biologists say the bears can roam far in search of food and empty territory.

Wildlife experts advise anyone who sees a bear to call their local law enforcement agency or the wildlife commission and not to panic or approach it.

“Just keep some distance and enjoy the moment, because you are likely not to encounter a bear in this part of the state,” Edmiston said.


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  • ladyblue Jun 29, 2009

    once the authorities knew about these bears they should have tranquilized them and taken them back to a safe environment.

    I wondered the same thing when he was spotted why couldn't he be tranqualized and sent to the mountains or something.

  • ladyblue Jun 29, 2009

    Humans are the superior race and we should not stop living for a few dead animals.

    LOL The last I heard humans were a species and not a race. But you never know these days. As far as the bear it is a shame that we have outstretched our greediness to want to live back in their woods and to do so we must demolish 100 acres to build a few houses. I wish he could have found his way back deeper into the woods somewhere, but then again is there many places left in the area. We humans must have everything and then some, no matter what other less superior animals needs are. Somewhere we got the brainstorm that all earth belongs to us.

  • GWALLY Jun 29, 2009

    There was an alleged fox in the news last week, so is this an alleged bear...???? Did he go for a ride on the front end of an alleged Mac truck...????

  • agentm Jun 29, 2009

    yep we are tearing down their homes so what can you expect !!!

  • whocares Jun 29, 2009

    We are messing up their habitat, but I have always been told that bears migrate from the mountains to the ocean during the spring and from the ocean to the mountains in the fall. I believe if you leave them alone they will leave you alone.

  • John Q Public Jun 29, 2009

    I wonder if bears are good at hunting deer. We seem to have too many here and that may be why they are coming here for a place to den-up.

  • GWALLY Jun 29, 2009

    Now this is some news!!!

  • clover1019 Jun 29, 2009

    You are right Sweet B; we are the ones messing up their homes. they were hear first; is there so much NEED to have another strip mall in the same 2 mile radius of ones that are brand new with available shops in it?? the shopping mall that was built across the street from me has had 6-7 vacant spaces in it since it has been built. NOT one tenant. yet progress must go on and they built the best buy and the other stores across from the Carolina ale house. OHHHH NOOO there are too many trees around here we need some BUILDINGS! We are overpopulating this earth. RIP poor bear. I hope the person that hit you will one day feel your pain.

    BTW the woman that hit the horse was only charged a $500 fine...pathetic.

  • SweetB Jun 29, 2009

    WE are the one messing up THEIR homes.

  • SweetB Jun 29, 2009

    Help Them.