FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WHNT) — “It was basically in my driveway!” That’s what one woman said about a large black bear she captured on video near her home in Fort Payne.
Amanda Fortner Mitchell, a woman living in the Lookout Mountain area of Fort Payne, said the bear showed up while she was doing yard work and taking grass clippings over to her garbage can. She said her cat was making strange noises, which alerted her to the bear’s presence.
“I heard some leaves rustling in the woods beside the house, but wrote it off as a squirrel or a bird,” Mitchell told News 19. “As I came around my vehicle towards the trash can, it was standing there at the edge of the woods.”
Mitchell said the bear was around 20 yards from where she was standing.
Once she realized the bear wasn’t coming near her, she started recording. The full video of her experience with the bear can be seen here:
Mitchell said her husband has hunting land in the area that has captured many bears over the last year.
She said his hunting land is several miles away in the Fischer community, stating “we were shocked to see one on this side of Highway 35… within the city limits.”
Earlier this year, News 19 reported state officials with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources have been tracking a trio of black bear cubs in northeast Alabama. The cubs were initially located near Mentone and had crews placed collars with passive integrated transponders. The collar expands as the bear grows.
The state estimated anywhere from 30 to 35 bears live in northeast Alabama.