5th bear sighting in Wake County since May attracts some interest from Zebulon residents

Wake County News

ZEBULON, N.C. (WNCN) — There’s been another bear sighting in Wake County, this time in Zebulon. It’s the fifth one in the county since May.

Zebulon police went to Facebook with a photo their officer captured of the black bear Thursday night. They wrote with the photo, “we are so fortunate to be in one of the last developing communities in Wake County.”

“All the kids were excited at school,” Jeff Boykin said.

Boykin’s wife is a teacher at a nearby elementary school. He said stopped by Community Park where the bear was spotted to check it out.

“Just sitting around watching,” he explained. Boykin promised to report back.

“The kids were excited about it. We took our little hike just to say ‘hey, where’s the bear at.’ Let’s see if we can see it,” Sam Patterson said.

CBS 17 asked Patterson what he would do if they found the bear.

“I mean, basically, just stay calm, collected, back away from it slowly,” Patterson said.

CBS 17 wanted to see what the experts would say.

“Enjoy the sighting, definitely keep your distance, they are wild animals and they’re large but they’re not interested in hurting anybody or really interacting with us at all,” said Falyn Owens with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Experts also advise never feeding the bear and securing food, garbage, and recycling.

This is at least the fifth bear sighting in Wake County in the last four months. Back in May, one was spotted by the Village District, another on Lead Mine Road, and a third over near North Hills.

Then in July, a baby bear club was found napping in a tree outside UNC Rex Hospital. That sighting attracted much interest from officers and the public.

CBS 17 asked the expert if bear sightings were becoming more common because of development in our area.

Owens said that’s not really the case. Bears do make their way into our area, but they don’t stick around. They’re looking to mate.

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