Local News

Black bears on move in Wake, Durham counties

Posted May 25, 2008 11:43 a.m. EDT
Updated May 27, 2008 6:10 p.m. EDT

— Authorities are searching for two bears after at least nine reported sightings Sunday morning in north Raleigh and eastern Durham County.

Those reports came in between 8 and 11 a.m., said R.E. Padgett, with the Durham County Sheriff's Office.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office received the initial calls about the bears, and Raleigh police also got calls about sightings.

Padgett said the most recent confirmed sighting of a bear by law enforcement was near the Brier Creek Memorial Gardens, 7600 ACC Boulevard. Residents reported seeing a bear running quickly behind the Wal-Mart store at 8231 Brier Creek Parkway.

Officials with the Wake sheriff's office said they found bear tracks along Mt. Herman and Norwood roads.

David DeVerter took several photos Sunday of a bear, that could weigh around 100 pounds, in his Harrington Grove neighborhood in north Raleigh.

The bear “just kinda looking around,” David DeVerter said.

It was the “first time I saw a bear that's not at the zoo,” Martin DeVerter said.

“It basically came down between our house and the next door neighbors (and) walked into the street, walked diagonally,” David DeVerter added.

Padgett said two bears were also spotted at Leesville, Olive Branch and Shady Grove roads in Durham County.

“Later we were able to determine by witnesses there was more than one (bear), and one was a baby cub,” Padgett added.

Law-enforcement officers said they believe the larger bear could weigh around 200 pounds.  Residents are urged to stay away from the animals.

“Let nature take its course, let them run through and go where they got to go and stay away from them,” Padgett said.

“I hope it gets to a nice, safe place,” David DeVerter said.

There have been no reports of damage from the bears.