Greensboro bear reappears near Battleground Avenue

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
(Updated 2:11 pm)

GREENSBORO — The black bear that sauntered through a neighborhood near Battleground Avenue on Sunday reappeared and scrambled up a tree near the busy thoroughfare today.

Tuesday morning, it climbed a tree near Battleground just north of West Cornwallis Drive at Albright Drive. A black bear was spotted on Quail Drive, just a few blocks west, on Sunday.

Joe Nelson, 56, of Summerfield was in the area running errands when he saw several police cars about 10:30 a.m. When he returned about 40 minutes later, he saw a throng of people.

“I just saw the crowd and figured it was the bear again,” he said. “Sure enough.”

Nelson wasn’t the only one. About 11:20 a.m., about 30 people were standing behind yellow police tape on Albright Drive trying to take pictures of the bear.

Suddenly there was a rustling. The bear hit the ground and took off running.

“The bear!” “It’s moving.”

Most of the spectators hustled behind a hedge in the Cornwallis Square office park, and police strongly suggested that people get in their cars and go home.

The bear didn’t go far. It scrambled up an oak tree a short distance away, near 2302 Albright Drive. About 70 feet off the ground, the bear laid down on a fork in the tree like he was settling in for a nap.

Once the bear seemed like he wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, the spectators returned with their cameras and cell phones.

Lori Aycock, fresh off a tennis match, swung by with her 2-year-old son Tanner.

“Can you see it?” she said to the boy as she pointed to the bear in the tree.

“Bear!” the boy replied.

“You see it! Can you see how face?”

“Face!” the boy said.

Tamesha Frazier tried to get a picture of the bear with her cell phone, but the thick tree cover and the distance foiled her.

“I’ve been to the zoo twice this month and I wasn’t this excited,” Frazier said. “There’s a bear in a tree! On Battleground!”

Police, meanwhile, are trying to keep people away from the animal’s path.

Police say schools in the area have been notified of the bear’s presence. Officials say the bear, which has not been aggressive, is scared and will come down when it no longer feels threatened.

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Police offer these tips to discourage bears from roaming in the city:

• Secure bags of trash inside cans stored in a garage, basement or other secure area, and place the cans outside as late as possible on trash pick-up days – not the night before.

• Purchase bear-proof garbage cans or bear-proof your existing garbage container with a secure latching system.

• Stop feeding wild birds during the spring and summer, even with feeders advertised as “bear-proof.” Bears are still attracted to seed that spills on the ground.

• Don’t leave pet food outside. If you must feed pets outdoors, make sure all food is consumed and empty bowls are removed.

• Clean all food and grease from barbecue grills after each use. Bears are attracted to food odors and may investigate.

The Wildlife Commission is the state regulatory agency responsible for handling incidents of black bears in urban areas.

If you have questions, call the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission at (800) 662-7137.

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