Recent Rain Increasing Bear Sightings in Central Georgia

6:08 PM, Sep 13, 2013   |    comments
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Barbara Lentz has lived in the Bear Lake subdivision in Warner Robins for a decade now.

Last year, she got an unexpected visitor - a black bear!

Ray Jones of the state Department of Natural Resources told me there are around 300 black bears in Central Georgia.

He says that number hasn't gone up, but the number of sightings has.

That's because the recent rain and flooding is causing bears to look for food in other places.

Right now, the bears are grazing on persimmons and crab apples - and also digging through people's garbage.

One Stathum's Landing resident said he's seen bears several times in his neighborhood.

"I've seen them come out of the forest and get into people's garbage, and it's quite funny because you can see a trail of garbage as they lead themselves back into the forest again," Murray said.

Although most people think bears are dangerous and find them scary. Jones says black bears are harmless.

Dan Murray isn't worried.

"I don't think there's much concern for the bear population in our neighborhood," Murray said. "The best thing to do is just leave them alone, and they'll leave you alone, and also, take care of your garbage so it doesn't look appetizing to the bears in our neighborhood."

The state Department of Natural Resources says there's never been a bear attack reported in Georgia, but there are still ways to keep your property bear-proof:

-Make sure to keep all your garbage containers clean and sealed
-If you see a bear, leave it alone. it will eventually go away on its own
-Don't leave pet food containers outside, and keep all bird feeders clean as well

If bears are making a regular appearance in your garbage, you can call the Department of Natural Resources at 478-825-6354.

Follow 13WMAZ's Anita Oh on Twitter @anita_oh.

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