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Butts County sheriff warns residents of bear after seeing it in his driveway

BUTTS COUNTY, Ga. — A central Georgia sheriff is warning residents about an unusual visitor seen in different parts of his county, but they may have to just grin and bear it.

Butts County Sheriff Gary Long said a bear has been roaming around communities for several days and is warning residents to avoid the bear.

“This bear has been in the area of Fincherville Road down to Buster Brown Road,” the sheriff said in a statement Thursday.

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While sheriff’s offices usually put out safety warnings to help keep residents safe, Long said this particular risk hit particularly close to home.

“Yesterday morning, he was in my driveway on Buster Brown Road heading towards Old Bethel Road,” Long said. “I have spoken to the Department of Natural Resources and they advised that it is common for them to travel through this area from the North Georgia Mountains to the bear population south of Macon.”

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Video and photos shared by the sheriff’s office showed the bear roaming through yards as early as June 1.

The sheriff’s statement said the Georgia Department of Natural Resources won’t get involved with the bear unless it becomes a nuisance and to not leave out food for pets, as bears are attracted by the morsels.

“He will move on in search of food and other bears,” Long said, explaining what happens next if people are careful about leaving out food and avoiding the creature.

In terms of safety, DNR said there are no recorded instances of bear attacks on humans in Georgia and no fatalities. Across the entirety of the Southeastern United States, there have only been three documented fatal black bear attacks.

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