CUMMING, Ga. — A family in Forsyth County is picking up the pieces in their backyard after a black bear hung out there overnight.
"Oh my gosh, we live in the city and there’s a bear in our backyard,” said Lea Anne Campbell, when she spotted a young male black bear behind their home Wednesday night. Campbell lives in the Providence Plantation subdivision in Cumming and her family’s cameras caught the bear in action.
“I have a child here and one on the way so we don’t need any bears around,” said Campbell.
Campbell said they were at dinner when the cameras first caught the action but even after they got back home the bear stuck around.
“He arrived around gosh 5 o’clock and stayed on site for a long time, he left at around 8:30 then arrived back around 8 o’clock this morning,” said Campbell.
Campbell said it’s no surprise that this bear picked their yard.
“He had a food source from a deer feeder we have, and water from the creek so he had it pretty made in the shade,” said Campbell.
Campbell said she is now following Georgia's Department of Natural Resources suggestion to remove all feeders from their backyard. It's easy to do since the bear destroyed the corn feeder that likely brought him there in the first place.
“We’re gonna settle down a little bit with the feeding and maybe the bear will find his way on to his next adventure,” said Campbell.
DNR said it does track these bears so if you spot one please call their Game Management office at 706-557-3350 For more information on how to live with bears, click here.
Black bears are the only bears found in the state, according to Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The agency's wildlife resources division said they live in three distinct regions in the state:
- North Georgia mountains
- Along the Ocmulgee River drainage in central Georgia
- Around the Okefenokee Swamp in southeast Georgia
Georgia's DNR said these bears typically live in forested areas and can live between eight to 15 years. They can grow up to 6 feet in length.
If bears are spotted in your area, here are steps you can take to be safe, according to wildlife experts.
- NEVER FEED OR APPROACH BEARS: Feeding bears (intentionally or unintentionally) trains them to approach homes and people for more food. Bears will defend themselves if a person gets too close, so don’t risk your safety and theirs!
- SECURE FOOD, GARBAGE AND RECYCLING: Food and food odors attract bears so don’t reward them with easily available food or garbage.
- REMOVE BIRD FEEDERS WHEN BEARS ARE ACTIVE: Birdseed and other grains have a high calorie content making them very attractive to bears. The best way to avoid conflicts with bears is to remove feeders.
- NEVER LEAVE PET FOOD OUTDOORS: Feed outdoor pets portion sizes that will be completely eaten during each meal and then remove leftover food and food bowl. Securely store these foods so nothing is available to bears.
- CLEAN AND STORE GRILLS: After you use an outdoor grill, clean it thoroughly and make sure that all grease and fat is removed. Store cleaned grills and smokers in a secure area that keeps bears out.
- ALERT NEIGHBORS TO BEAR ACTIVITY: Share news with your friends and neighbors about recent bear activity and how to avoid bear conflicts. Bears have adapted to living near people; are you willing to adapt to living near bears?