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Bear spotted in Sandy Springs neighborhood near Chattahoochee River

Officials with the DNR said the black bear, likely a young male, will hopefully head north along the Chattahoochee River.

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — A Sandy Springs family was in for a beary big surprise when they saw what was wandering around their backyard on Saturday evening. 

They shared photos and video of a bear in their backyard in the Riverside community near the Chattahoochee River at around 5:30 p.m. 

"The bear was just walking around - it was eating some berries off a tree. We don’t know how it got over our fence but it did," the homeowner told 11Alive. "It found its way out about 30 minutes later." 

They said the bear did no harm while it was in their yard. 

"It was really just curious and it did not cause any damage."

Kaitlin Goode, Urban Wildlife Program Manager with the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources said that's typically pretty common. 

"It is moving quite a bit, which is good. We want the bear to be moving and hopefully it'll find its way out of the city," Goode said. 

She said they are pretty sure it is the same bear spotted last week in East Cobb, based on reports and the timeline.

"We want people to give them space. They found their way into the city. They can find their way out."

She said the black bear, likely a young male, will hopefully now head north along the Chattahoochee River.

Goode said a second bear was spotted last week in Gwinnett County in the Norcross area. 

Bear sightings aren't uncommon in Georgia but sometimes cause issues in heavily populated areas - especially if they become too accustomed to people. Goode said that June and July is typically when they'll be spotted in the metro area. 

As such, the DNR has a handful of tips to help keep them from visiting your yard.

The biggest tips revolve around keeping anything they would see as food locked up. This includes securing food, garbage, and recycling, removing bird feeders when not in use and never leaving pet food outdoors.

But it also involves keeping things like grills clean to make sure the scent of the previous day's cookout doesn't bring an unexpected guest.

Other steps, like not approaching or feeding bears, are also important.

Credit: Provided
A bear was spotted in the backyard of this home in the Riverside neighborhood of Sandy Springs.

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