Bear spotted roaming north metro Atlanta neighborhoods

A bear was spotted walking along Island Ferry Road in Sandy Springs

Multiple bear sightings have north metro Atlanta residents wondering if there’s more than one roaming their neighborhoods.

A bear was spotted walking along Island Ferry Road in Sandy Springs Thursday morning, Melissa Cummings, a spokeswoman with the Department of Natural Resources, said.

The bear appeared to be moving along Ga. 400, “possibly in an attempt to find a place to cross the highway to keep moving,” Cumming said via email.

Video and photos on Nextdoor social media site show a bear walking through Sandy Springs and Roswell neighborhoods and residents’ driveways property. Some residents say they’re finding trash cans have been rummaged and bird feeders destroyed.

“It is possible that these are sightings of the same bear,” Cummings said. “They can travel good distances, so the potential is certainly there.”

Residents in nearby Dunwoody and Brookhaven have also shared Nextdoor posts of bear sightings.

Trash and pet food left outdoors will entice a bear to stay around, Cummings said.

“We want those animals to keep moving on their own,” she said. “We don’t want to have to interfere or for people to interfere.”

The spokeswoman said bear sightings are typical in late summer. The black bears are usually young males who were kicked out of their den when new cubs were born in the spring.

“A lot of times they follow the river corridors as they come down from the mountains,” Cummings said. “They’re trying to find their own place … and (avoid) running into larger male bears.”

And black bears are not necessarily interested in people, according to the DNR. Waving arms and shouting, “Get away” when encountering a bear will motivate it to turn away, Cummings said.

“The more noise you make, the more that bear is going to want to get away from you,” she said. “It’s very unlikely that it’s going to picture you as something that it wants to interact with.”