Black bears spotted in Valdosta - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Black bears spotted in Valdosta

Greg Nelms Greg Nelms

Black bears are not common in Valdosta, but two black bears have been spotted near the intersection of Baytree Road and Gornto Road since Sunday.

"Late in the evening [on Sunday], there was a smaller bear seen...and again at 2 a.m. [Monday morning], which is when we got contacted, there was a larger bear seen in that general area," explained Georgia Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist Greg Nelms.

Nelms said this isn't the first time though that bears have been seen in the Valdosta area. But, he believes the bears are likely just passing through and there's no need to be concerned at this point. He added that the bear sightings may be due to an expansion of the bears' breeding area.

"We always felt like these were just wandering away from our main breeding range, which is down in Echols County and that's really an extension of the Okefenokee population," said Nelms.

He recommends not leaving pet food out overnight as one of the best tips to help prevent bears from migrating into cities or residential areas. "Worst thing ever," Nelms emphasized. "That's a 24-7 food source for everything, including a bear."

If you do see a bear, Nelms said to just 'bear' with it and let it go about its business and call law enforcement.

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