Neighbors come face-to-face with bears in two metro Atlanta neighborhoods

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Bears are on the move around metro Atlanta. There’s a new video of a bear making his way across a yard in Gwinnett County.

Someone also caught a black bear on camera in Cobb County.

Channel 2′s Michele Newell asked officials with the Georgia Department of Natural resources why bear sightings are on the rise around the metro area.

Kaitlin Goode, Urban Wildlife Program and Game Management Program Manager said food and shelter are two reasons behind the recent bear sightings.

“Keep your garbage in the garage, take your bird feeders down for the next couple of weeks,” Goode said

She says this is the time of year that young male bears are moving out of their original home range and trying to find their own areas.

Newell talked to neighbor Joe Pearson, who recorded video of a bear prowling his neighborhood.

“I just looked out the front door and there’s a bear,” resident Joe Pearson said.

At first, Pearson thought there wasn’t a bear. He thought his eyes were playing tricks on him when he recorded the video.

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“I can’t believe there’s a bear out here in the neighborhood.”

The bear was on Webney Drive in Marietta last week when Pearson was on a conference call.

“I said, ‘I’ve got to go...a bear just ran across the cul-de-sac,’” Pearson said.

Little did Pearson know the bear was headed towards his house.

“The scary thing is, when I turned around, it was about 30 seconds later and it’s running up the sidewalk,” Pearson said.

Pearson was inside his house with his 10-year-old son, watching from a window.

“The bears face is here, I’m sitting in that chair,” Pearson described.


Moments later, the bear made his way towards a tree, then started to climb it.

This is the second bear sighting in Marietta within the past month. A black bear was spotted in Gwinnett County last week.

“I was just so startled to see it in the middle of the day,” Gwinnett County resident Tommy Everett said.

Everett told Newell that the bear ate a bunch of squash and went to the creek behind the house.

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The Georgia Department of Natural Resources wants residents to get rid of any food outside of their home for a two-week period, because that’s how long it typically takes a bear to realize there’s no food before they move on.

Officials also ask people to keep in mind that black bears can stay on the move into August in warmer areas, like here in the south. Black bears have a very good sense of smell, about 100 times more sensitive than humans. Bears are also quiet, so you won’t necessarily hear them coming.