Bears are on the move this time of year, and one has been spotted again in Nags Head Woods Preserve, as well as Kill Devil Hills, the Town of Nags Head says.
“Our police department is receiving reports of a bear in Nags Head Woods, so if your property is near that area, please do the following: secure trash cans, do not leave pet or any other food outside and please never approach wild animals,” the town said in a Facebook post Saturday morning. “Let’s all do our part to encourage our mainland visitor (or visitors) to return home where it (or they) can be safe!”
Dare County has a very robust population of black bears with the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge bear sanctuary nearby, and it’s not unusual for bears to swim across the sound.
In May 2018, a black bear was spotted ambling around the Town of Duck, munching on garbage from trash cans, but he quickly moved on. Earlier this spring, there were reports of another bear on the beach at Cape Lookout National Seashore. And in June, state wildlife officials warned folks to be on the watch for a bear seen ambling about the lesser-used areas of Nags Head Woods.
At the time, N.C. Senior Wildlife Law Enforcement Officer Anna Barbosa said there’s no cause for concern with the bear visitor, “we just want to make sure he’s not getting easy food sources.”
The commission offers the following tips for how to handle interactions with bears:
NEVER FEED OR APPROACH BEARS. Feeding bears (intentionally or unintentionally) trains them to approach homes and people for more food. Bears will defend themselves if a person gets too close, so don’t risk your safety and theirs!
SECURE FOOD, GARBAGE AND RECYCLING. Food and food odors attract bears so don’t reward them with easily available food or garbage.
REMOVE BIRD FEEDERS WHEN BEARS ARE ACTIVE. Birdseed and other grains have a high calorie content making them very attractive to bears. The best way to avoid conflicts with bears is to remove feeders.
NEVER LEAVE PET FOOD OUT. Feed outdoor pets portion sizes that will be completely eaten during each meal and remove leftover food and food bowl. Securely store these foods so nothing is available to bears.
CLEAN AND STORE GRILLS. After you use an outdoor grill, clean it thoroughly and make sure that all grease and fat is removed. Store cleaned grills and smokers in a secure area that keeps bears out.
LET NEIGHBORS KNOW. Share news with your friends and neighbors about recent bear activity and how to avoid bear conflicts. Bears have adapted to living near people; are you willing to adapt to living near bears?
For more information about eastern North Carolina’s black bears, see the following links:
This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.