“There’s a bear in our driveway” Bear sightings near residential areas could become more common

MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. - North Alabama residents are spotting black bears in their backyards, and even on the porches of their homes. The bear sightings continue to increase all over the region and people are saying, it's a little unbearable.

"Do not go outside. Do not let your dog go outside." Union Hill resident Sarah Harvey got a frantic phone call from her husband on Wednesday morning. "I'm thinking why not. He says, 'there's a bear in our driveway.'"

That black bear was caught red-handed by a surveillance camera at their home. It appears that the bear found the jackpot sitting around the front door. "We have a garden growing up by our porch," Harvey explained. "Some cucumbers, some tomatoes. I think the bear is after the vegetables to feed on."

Sarah says her dog eventually scared the bear away and it went next door. "It went into the neighbor's house. I heard them screaming." And then she says it headed back towards the woods.

"I'm more of an animal person. I kind of wanted to feed the bear." But there are many who share the same sentiments as her husband and neighbors, caution and fear.

These north Alabama sightings have people questioning, 'what do you do if one pops up?'

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources want people to know more bears will be seen closer to residential areas for reasons like broken habitats, seasonal movements, and mating.

They want to warn people to not run but leave them alone. You can also encourage the bear to leave by waving your arms and yelling.

 

"I would like to see him again if he comes around," said Harvey.

But for those of you who don't, it's best to hibernate if you find one of these furry friends lurking around your home.

So far in 2018, black bears have been spotted in Jackson, Limestone, Marshall, Morgan, and St. Clair Counties.