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Beware of bears: Dunwoody Police stress safety during sightings

The police department posted its warning of a bear spotted by North Peachtree and Devonshire streets.
Credit: DNR

DUNWOODY, Ga. — Beware of bears in Dunwoody.

The police department posted its warning of a bear spotted by North Peachtree and Devonshire streets. 

Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division said they have not received any new reports but did offer notes on how the agency approaches sightings.

"Our staff would highly prefer not to interfere with the movement of the animal (capturing and relocating a bear is traumatic and stressful to the animal). So, as long as the bear keeps moving/is not causing property damage or becomes a danger - that is ideal," a wildlife spokesperson said.

Georgia DNR said if the bear does not find a food source, it will continue to move around to find a fitting home. This means that homeowners and business owners be mindful of taking out their garbage and where they feed their pets. 

"The bear wants zero to do with people – and would prefer not to interact at all. So, ideally, if the bear is seen, people should just let it continue to move, don’t try to 'corner' it or run it up a tree. Allow it the space to leave the area," the DNR said.

Credit: Doug Walker

Be "BearWise"

Black bears are the only bears found in the state, according to Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The agency's wildlife resources division said they live in three distinct regions in the state:

  • North Georgia mountains
  • Along the Ocmulgee River drainage in central Georgia
  • Around the Okefenokee Swamp in southeast Georgia

Georgia's DNR said these bears typically live in forested areas and can live between eight to 15 years. They can grow up to 6 feet in length.

If bears are spotted in your area, here are steps you can take to be safe, according to wildlife experts.

  • 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 OUTDOORS: Feed outdoor pets portion sizes that will be completely eaten during each meal and then 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.
  • ALERT NEIGHBORS TO BEAR ACTIVITY: 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?


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