Local News

Bear spotted roaming Granville County subdivision

Posted May 27, 2008 6:10 p.m. EDT
Updated May 28, 2008 12:03 a.m. EDT

— 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.