There have been a number of reported sightings of a black bear in and around Mount Gilead today. Police Chief Cleve Willoughby said the bear “has been seen all over town,” and he encourages residents who see the bear to stay or go inside and call 911 to report it.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commissions says, “It is increasingly common for residents throughout North Carolina to encounter black bears. … The bears are typically juveniles (1 to 2 years old) that no longer depend on the adult female and are searching for new homes.”
These young bears are called ‘transient bears,’ and their dispersal is said to be perfectly natural. Wildlife experts say, “While the bears appear to be wandering aimlessly into places people think bears do not belong, they are not necessarily lost. Most are simply exploring their opportunities.
N.C. Wildlife says, “Black bears have been dispersing through central North Carolina for decades, and transient bear sightings have increased because (the) bear population is expanding into central North Carolina.”
According to the Commission, “Black bears, by nature, are not aggressive animals … and their presence in new areas should not be immediately viewed as cause for alarm or fear.”
Click here for more information from N.C. Wildlife.