ROSWELL, Ga. — The Roswell Police Department is taking a humorous approach in warning the community to beware of bears this spring season.
The department posted its alert Monday confirming that officers do indeed know of the young black bear that's been spotted in several Roswell neighborhoods.
"He is cute and friend-shaped, but he is not a friend," police warned. "If YOU see the bear, give him space and let him go on his beary way."
Officers said the bear will not need to be forcibly removed unless he becomes a safety issue -- but it will be up to the community to make sure that doesn't happen.
RPD recommended people study up on the BearWise tips provided by Georgia's Department of Natural Resources. A few of those tips can be found below.
Black bears are the only bears found in the state, according to the 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.
Roswell bear sighting | Photos
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 are 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?