A young black bear surprised neighbors on Dunlap Drive in North Hall County over the weekend when it was spotted roaming their neighborhood.
The bear was first spotted in a backyard and has been making appearances around the neighborhood. Resident Tom Stewart told AccessWDUN he saw the bear briefly a few days ago in his backyard, which he describes as being close to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property. Then he heard from a neighbor that the bear was on their deck.
Stewart said the bear is still making appearances in the community at Marthasville Court off Thompson Bridge Road on Monday.
"He just got in to our neighbor's garbage can, so he's turning in to a nuisance bear," Stewart said.
Residents contacted the Department of Natural Resources and agents described black bears as pretty lazy, looking for an easy snack in unsecured trash cans and bird feeders. Agents said barking dogs often scare them off and that walking in the neighborhood was safe.
"We did call DNR, they're not going to come out and do anything about the bear, but they said to make a lot of loud noise and keep your garbage cans inside until they're ready to be picked up by the city," Stewart said.
Stewart said the bear doesn't seem to be a threat, he's just a little pest when he gets into the trash. He also said the DNR told them there were several hundred black bears in North Georgia, but they usually stayed further north, so while it's not uncommon to see one, it's not typical to see one in Gainesville.
"It's a bit surprising, we've never seen a bear before in our neighborhood," said Stewart. "And we've been here since 1988."
Stewart said he thinks the bear will stick around in the neighborhood until the easy food supply dries up.