‘It’s been scary’ – large bear harasses SC family for months

Around the South

EDGEFIELD COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – One South Carolina family has been continuously tormented by a bear for months.

“Just leave us alone,” said Russel Calliham of Edgefield County.

Since October, the Calliham family has had a frightening visitor wreaking havoc on their property. 

They first noticed something different about their dog feeder. Deena Calliham was determined to find out why.  

“I got the flashlight and flashed it and realized it was a bear,” Deena Calliham said.

“It’s been scary,” added Deena’s son, Lee Young.

Russell described the bear as “Six and a half, seven foot tall. Probably 400 pounds easy.”

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources says bears in Edgefield County are a transient population. 

Soon after the first sighting at the Calliham’s house, trash was thrown all across their backyard.

“We can’t do anything out here you know, without thoughts of him, you know, wreaking havoc on it,” explained Russell Calliham.

“This is the first time I’ve actually seen one in person,” said Young.

Deena Calliham says the bear is comfortable on their land.

“It went and sat on the picnic table and I was like look at this thing sitting on a picnic table!” she said.

The family has called South Carolina DNR several times to find a solution to their problem.  

“Get the same story you know, ‘move your trash, move your dog feeders’,” said Russell Calliham.

Seeing bear attacks in the news has the family uneasy and in South Carolina, it is illegal to kill a bear without the proper permits.

“I’m worried about, you know, us. I’m worried about my family. I’m worried about our animals getting hurt,” said Young.

Still, the Calliham family hopes no harm comes to the bear.

Russell said, “I don’t want them to kill him. I just want him relocated where he is free range. Just go on about his business.”

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