5 bear sightings in Charlotte area may be same animal - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

5 bear sightings in Charlotte area may be same animal

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MARSHVILLE, NC (WBTV) -

Black bear sightings have now popped up 5 times in 4 counties in the Charlotte area. Wildlife officials say all the sightings may be the same bear.

Officer Rupert Medford with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission says they've gotten tips starting in Montgomery County heading west to Albemarle, Concord and twice in Union County.

The bear was spotted Tuesday morning in Downtown Marshville eating cat food from a loading dock. He made his way out into the county where Marshville Police Officer JC Navarro caught him on camera.

"I did get a little worried when I came back around and instead of seeing the back of him walking away, he actually was walking towards me. That's when I decided to go back to my car," Navarro said.

Wildlife experts say it is very rare for black bears to be spotted in the Piedmont. They believe this is a young male that could have come from the coast in search of a mate. So far he hasn't caused any problems, but he's keeping police in several counties on their toes.

Chances are he'll appear again in front of people, in that case the best advice comes from Marshville's Chief of Police, Carl Webber.

"Folks if they just leave it alone and let it leave them alone, I think we'll all be better off because I imagine it's just passing through."

Experts say you should never approach a bear. They typically are not aggressive and will usually not harm humans if left alone.

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