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Forsyth County neighbors capture video of bear roaming community

Georgia Department of Natural Resources says bears are currently active, and residents should take steps to protect themselves.

CUMMING, Ga. — A bear has been caught on camera no less than three times in the last week, and it’s covered a lot of ground. According to Dr. Denis Zavodny, who’s the most recent person to capture footage of the bear, it first made its presence known at Riverstone Plantation in Gainesville on April 18.

“There was a posting on a neighborhood social media [group] about a bear on someone's porch about 4.5 miles from my house,” he said. “So I thought ‘oh, that's interesting.’ Then the next day, a neighbor 1.5 miles away had a ring video of a bear on their porch. I thought ‘oh, it's getting closer.’”

That second sighting was in the Lanier Forest neighborhood, near the Forsyth-Hall county line, Zavodny said. The following day, April 20, his next-door neighbor was visited by the bear and once again caught on camera, this time removing a bird feeder from an iron post in the ground.

Credit: Denis Zavodny

“So I decided to put out a trail camera, thinking that maybe I'll catch the bear walking down the street to my neighbor's house to visit his feeder again,” Zavodny said. “The next day, I pulled the camera chip, put it in my computer, and nearly had a heart attack because there's a damn bear on my stoop just feet away from where I was walking at night because I was up at the time. I have three dogs who slept through it.”

He said he had a few concerns after seeing that the bear was so close to his home, so he contacted the Department of Natural Resources who provided some valuable information.

“They said bears are real active and not to leave out birdseed, pet food, trash, things like that,” Zavodny said. “Apparently they're very hungry this time of year.”

Credit: Denis Zavodny

Having little to no visitors during the ongoing shelter-in-place, he said he and his wife have found humor in all of this.

“It's a nice distraction I guess, and also all the more reason to stay inside,” Zavodny said. “My neighbors have been generally supportive, but some wisenheimers had talked about dressing up in a bear suit and coming over. I said ‘go for it, because it may be mating season. You may have a bad outcome there.’”

For more information on bears including safety tips, CLICK HERE.

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