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Bear sightings not common this time of year
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The sighting, though a seemingly rare experience for metro Atlantans, comes as no surprise given that seasonal bear activity is increasing.  This time of year, young male bears are roaming and often stumbling into what’s considered non-traditional bear range, including urbanized areas.
When most people think bears, they immediately think mountains. Yet, a black bear sighting in an urban area, especially during the spring, isn’t unusual. That’s because during the spring and summer, young male bears on their own for the first time are experiencing territorial competition with other adult bears. Adult males typically force these young males out of familiar and traditional territory. As a result, young males continue to roam as they try to establish their own territory, which sometimes temporarily leads to neighborhoods or other populated areas.
In an effort to curb the instinctive alarm residents in these areas may experience when a bear is sighted, Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division biologists want to inform residents of the increased possibility of black bear sightings this spring and summer.
While there’s no way to prevent a young male bear from wandering into a neighborhood, there are a few things people can do to prevent the bear from taking up residence:
• Never, under any circumstances, feed a bear. Such activity is unlawful.
• Keep items, such as grills, pet food or bird feeders off-limits to bears. Clean and store grills when not in use. Keep pet food indoors and take bird feeders down if bears are in the area.
• Convert to ‘bear-proof’ garbage containers, or store garbage in the garage or other enclosed area until pick-up day.
For more information regarding black bears, visit or contact a WRD Game Management office. The public also can visit their library to check out a copy of an informational DVD entitled, “Where Bears Belong: Black Bears in Georgia.”
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