More bears seen in Raleigh, how to co-exist safely

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Early Wednesday morning, a motion censored surveillance camera picked up movement in from of Laura Dozier’s home near House Creek Trail in Raleigh.

“Sometimes the leaves will set it off and various things,” said Dozier.

It wasn’t leaves this time. Instead, it was a small bear walking down her driveway.

“It scared me a little because we do have small kids and so it made me really nervous to think about them playing outside,” said Dozier.

She wasn’t home when the four-legged animal came through her property. In the video, the bear was seen coming from behind her home, walking down the driveway and towards the front door. It was spooked by a car and briefly ran back before heading towards the road.

“I can’t believe there are bears around here. It’s just not reasonable. I wonder what the mother looks like. It’s just scary,” said Peg Gjertsen. She usually walks her dog in the same neighborhood and area trails.

The surrounding area is covered in woods and trails giving plenty of free roam to wildlife. These green spaces are nestled between the beltline, neighborhoods, and commercial areas.

“This is snake season so my eyes are super open but I hadn’t been thinking about bears,” said Gjertsen.

Dozier’s husband sat the kids down to explain what to do if they see one again.

“My three year old likes to chase squirrels or bunnies. I’m afraid they’d try to pet the bear,” Dozier said.

If you encounter a bear:

  • Don’t run instead back away slowly
  • Provide a clear escape route so it’s not cornered
  • Make noise to scare it away from a safe distance
  • If a bear becomes aggressive or approaches you, make yourself look bigger

Dozier’s video was just one of recent sightings.

Young bears were spotted in North Hills just a few weeks ago. One was reported on Lead Mine Road. The other was reported on Macon Place a few days later.

CBS 17 reached out to Raleigh animal control to ask if they have any plans for the animals and didn’t hear back.

“Definitely raises some questions if this is the same bear or a group of bears, or it’s the same one,” said Dozier.

Meanwhile, neighbors now hope the bears were just passing through.

“I don’t know how likely this is to happen again, hopefully unlikely,” said Dozier

Avoiding bears

At home, it’s best to remove bird feeders when bears are active. Bearwise.org says bird feed “rewards” bears for coming into your yard making it more likely they’ll return. Avoiding leaving pet food out, as well.

Clean your grills and store them when possible to prevent any attraction to your yard. Avoid leaving out the garbage. If not that’s not possible, secure trash and recyclables in bear-proof storage.

While hiking or walking, Bearwise recommends making noise in thick cover and keeping children close. If you have a dog with you, they said you should keep them on a leash.

Do not let dogs chase or interact with bears. Bearwise says to back away with your dog and leave the area.

While camping, do not store food in your tent or cook within 100 yards of your tent. Bearwise recommends not sleeping in the close you wore while cooking either.

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